Cincinnati Draw

http://www.atpworldtour.com/share/event-draws.aspx?year=2012&eventid=422&draw=ms

How good is it to see Roger back at number one seed for a tournament like Cincinnati, right where he belongs? And his draw doesn’t look bad at all either. But before I get to Cincinnati, let me go over Toronto which is currently going on. Of course Roger withdrew from Toronto. He didn’t have much of a choice after the Olympics. It would have been a terrible decision to play. Murray did decide to play Toronto, and had to withdraw before his quarter final meeting with Raonic due to injury.

Just goes to show once again that Roger is the GOAT at scheduling as well. It seems there is a chance Murray might miss Cincy as well now. After winning the Olympics, the Murray hype has started once again and he is now many people’s favorite to win the US Open. Sound familiar? Someone also told me Murray said that the Olympics are more important than Wimbledon, after winning the Olympics. If that is indeed true then Murray is in for another rude awakening. He doesn’t seem to learn.

Winning the Olympics has gone to his head and already he made the wrong decision by showing up in Toronto. The pressure of expectation on him has already increased ten fold since winning the Olympics, and it looks like he is already cracking under it. I’m pretty sure he is not winning the US Open for his maiden slam title. He will just have to wait a little longer to win something that really matters, or maybe forever. This is of course good news for Roger who will have one less big name to worry about.

Then Nadal is also skipping Cincy after having skipped Toronto. Doesn’t look like his injury have healed yet. Whenever Nadal is injured I’m not surprised in the least. In fact I’m surprised he doesn’t get injured more, given the nature of his playing style. It looks like he won’t be a big factor at the US Open either. That means the US Open pretty much comes down to Roger and Djokovic, which is fitting. The best player of 2012 is between these two. If either one of these wins the US Open they will be the best player of 2012.

Both of them won a slam so far and neither won the Olympics. So far Roger have clearly had the better year, but if Djokovic wins the US Open he will win 2012. It is always about the slams. Aside from winning the Australian Open, Djokovic has had an average year compared to 2011. But he can’t be counted out during the North American hard court season. He is now already in the semis of Toronto and looks like he will win that event. He’s only got Tipsarevic and the winner of Isner and Gasquet to overcome.

If he wins Toronto and then goes on to win Cincy as well then he will be number one again. We don’t want that. It’s getting interesting now. Looking at Roger’s draw in Cincy, it looks like he will make the final there at least. There is no one in his half he should lose to, especially given Berdych’s poor form of late. In the bottom half you have Djokovic, Murray, and Del Potro. I’m not sure if Murray will play or if he plays whether he’ll be fit. Del Potro made a poor showing in Toronto, losing in the second round to Stepanek.

One would have expected something better after his good showing in the Olympics, but perhaps he should have skipped the event as well. He will want to do very well in Cincy, and has the potential for it. So at least Del Potro is there to test Djokovic if Murray isn’t fit. It will be tough for Djokovic to do the Canada/Cincy double. He couldn’t even do it last year when he was almost unbeatable. But we may very well have a Djokerer final in Cincy, which would be a match to determine the number one ranking.

Whoever wins such a match would also get a big emotional boost just before the US Open. I am looking very far ahead now. Djokovic may yet lose in Toronto, in which case Roger only has to make the final in Cincy to keep the number one ranking. We are not sure what’s gonna happen at Cincy either. But the chances looks good that Roger will be ranked #1 going into the US Open. And I think it’s important for his US Open campaign. I’d like to see him come back now and win Cincy.

It’s an event that he always liked and that he did well at. He has a week of rest now and he will be fresh and still very confident. He must stamp down his authority before the all important US Open and make it clear that he is still the one to beat. Then we may well see him win #18 in New York and continue to have on of his best years on tour at age 31. The fun is about to begin…

 

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20 Comments

  1. I think Federer is going to do what he can to retain his number one position for as long as he can. I hope that Federer and Djokovic meet in the final at Cincy and Roger throws him a beat down. I’m kind of anxious to see how Nadal is going to fare not having any warm up matches heading into the U.S. Open and coming off an injury. Murray is a dolt. What is he thinking going into Toronto right after the Olympic only to drop out. As far Federer goes, I am taking it one match at a time with Cincinatti. Who knows maybe I will drive over there from Chicago and catch a match or two.

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    Vily Reply:

    I agree. Murray is such a fool. He should have either gone all the way and win Toronto and become Number 3 in the World or skip the event altogether.

    Now he may not even play Cincy and drop 1000 points. Not smart at all!

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  2. I wasn’t planning on watching Rogers Cup since I knew Roger and other top names wouldn’t be playing, and I kept hearing that everyone that went to Toronto after the Olympics suffered early round losses. But as I turned on the tournament anyway, it was none other than Andy Murray whincing on the screen getting treatment on his leg. Seriously, what is up with Murray… I know it’s an emotional thing, winning the gold medal in front of your home crowd and all… but what went through his mind in thinking that it would be okay to play Toronto? Less than 5 days or so after winning the Olympics, you have to change location, surface, and mentality. Of course this is where Roger was smart. Regardless of the final result, he withdrew from Toronto after his marathon semi with Del Potro.

    And get this – I also heard that Tsonga ran into a fire hydrant in Toronto, which required him needing 8 stiches in his knee. What an idiot…

    And I just saw a recent picture of Roger already practicing on the hard courts in Cincy, so that’s exciting. I agree completely, that winning the US Open would officially determine who’s the ultimate player of 2012.
    Because as we know, and others are starting to admit to also, Djokovic is starting to slump. I also read that one of his coaches spoke to the media saying that he’s extremely fatigued, and he’s not admitting it. Of course he’s fatigued… he had a grueling 2011 season followed by the epic win over Nadal in Australia, and ever since, he really hasn’t gotten his mojo back. I’ll also admit that luck hasn’t been on his side… with losses to Isner in the semis at IW, Tipsarevic in Madrid, etc. all matches he probably could’ve scraped through.

    But you’re right. With most of the big titles out of the way already this year, I almost want to add Murray and Nadal to that conversation. Each of the top 4 guys has won a big title this year, and whoever wins the US Open will be the guy with the last laugh, as it’s all anyone really cares about until Australia starts up again in January. I would really like to see Federer win this one. I think it would definitely make people swallow their doubts and admit that Roger is back.

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    Vily Reply:

    I believe that Roger is back either way but it would be sweet if he stamps his authority if he wins the US Open!

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    Kelsey Reply:

    You know that (Roger’s back), and I know that, but that statement was mostly for people who immediately conclude that when Roger loses a big match, it’s due to his “old age” or the fact that this is the era of the “Rafa-Djokovic rivalry” or that Murray is going to be a major contender for the top spot in the rankings. Haha… please!

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  3. I think Andy only played Toronto to gain points. Or maybe he felt he had to at least go there because Roger and Rafa were already missing it. Either way, it looks like it might have been a mistake, but we shall see. Djokovic seems to be looking good again, but if he wins Toronto it’ll have an asterisk beide it because Federer, Nadal, and Ferrer weren’t playing and Delpo, Tsonga, and Murray all went out before the QF.
    Roger’s draw looks great in Cincy. Tomic, Harrison, or Kohlschreiber in the 3R could be tough, but overall it looks like smooth sailing to the final if he plays well. He owns Monaco and I doubt Berdych even makes it to the QF.
    Another thing about Toronto: Djokovic had a very physical match vs Haas and played twice in one day. That may affect him in the semi or final. Gasquet has looked good – he seems to like Toronto as he made the final in 2006 as well, where he lost to Fed in 3.

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  4. Hey Guys,

    Here is my take on all that is happenning.

    1. Roger is doing just fine. I think his draw is pretty easy and if he takes things seriously, he should make the FINAL at least. Here I would like to correct Ru-an by saying that Roger needs only to reach the Final and he would still be Number 1 heading into the US Open.
    Federer – 11,435 – 180 + 600 = 11,855
    Djokovic – 11,270 (if he wins Toronto) – 600 + 1000 = 11,670

    I do believe that if Roger is truely refreshed, he may just do that. I mean Djokovic would need to go trough Murray, Del Potro and others just to make the Final. Roger has the much easier draw and would love to take advantage because he wants to enter New York as the Number 1.

    2. Djokovic – he is looking slightly better and surprisingly is benefitting the most out of Toronto. I was hoping that he would stumble but since Roger and Rafa are not playing, and since Murray is such an idiot to get injured, as well as Tsonga, it’s pretty much a sweet easy 1000 pints for him. Even Isner lost today so it can’t be any easier. But you never know. Tipsarevich might throw a surprise but as of right now I see it as a Djoko Win.

    3. Nadal – he doesn’t look good at all. He may even not show up in New York – which would be shocking. I don’t expect much from him – and would love to see him on Roger’s side of the draw. But again, Nadal should never be underestimated – but without any practice he would have much difficulty to get through the early rounds.

    4. Murray – all the boost from winning the Gold Medal was forgottern. i was expecting him to win Toronto and become Number 3 in the world – what a dud! What a Joke! All the momentum he had is almost gone. We’ll see how he does in Cincy…

    5. Del Potro – also disappointed with him. I though he would make a run in Toronto. I mean if he was so TIRED, why bother and travel if you are not gonna compete.

    It just goes to show that Roger is and will be the MASTER of scheduling. I completely agree with Ru-an that it was a masterpiece that he skipped Toronto. If he wins Cincy it would be so sweet – he would have 5 titles there and equal himself with Nadal for most Masters 1000 titles.

    But one step at a time. I just hope that Roger is mentally refreshed because this is a sweet draw and he should go all the way or at least make it to the Final. I also agree with Ru-an that it’s pretty much Djokovic and Roger at this point and Roger needs to make a run now to take it to Djokovic by winning Cincy and possibly win the US Open.

    Afterwards, he may choose to play Shanghai and that would be the last place he would be able to add points. From there on it’s about defending and I am not sure if he’ll be able to defend all 3000 points from last year. So it’s pretty much the next few weeks that will determine the Year-End Number 1.

    I think Roger is ready and he has a lot on his plate. But winning will only refresh him.

    Go Roger, Go!

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    Vily Reply:

    Sorry, I made a mistake.

    If Roger makes the final in Cincy, he would have 11,765 pts and not 11,855 but that would still be good enough to hold off Djokovic if he wins it. Djoko would be at 11,670 pts.

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  5. You guys are making too much out of Murray’s performance (or lack of) in Toronto. He and Novak were under huge pressure from the tournament and from the ATP to not withdraw, otherwise there wouldn’t be a single top 5 player there! Murray came and played a match and you could say he fulfilled his obligation. As for Novak, he has so many points to defend here; I’m sure he figured it’s better to defend half your points than none at all.

    who knows what the real deal is with Murray’s form. Sometimes he seems injured and then plays just fine. Djokovic is playing himself into good form here; showing more fire and focus than he has in months. He may tire himself out, but I believe he needed this as he’s been looking lacklustre out there for a while.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Nice to see you here Katarina, you know I value your opion on my blog ;-)

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    veronica Reply:

    Agree Katarina. Djoko is playing himself to good form at Toronto. There’s definitely more fire and focus. I think his sub par performance since AO, is mainly emotional and maybe lingering fatigue from 2011 and AO2012. But Djoko is one player who can bring it on regardless of fatigue/injuries. See how he destroyed Nadal USO2011 with an injured back. He is the biggest threat to Roger and I do believe he will come into USO with a vengeance. I already feel a bit nervous that Djoko’s losses so far may have awakened Djoko 1.5, if not 2.0!!

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  6. Hi GOAT blogger! “The fun is about to begin”… Lol, you captured it so well, Ru-an!! Like your post. Speaking of fun, seems that Roger isn’t the only one having so much fun this year…….some one else seems to be having a LOTTA fun too and neglecting his family since he moved!!!!! Lol! I don’t know about you guys but I am still on cloud 9 with Roger 3.0. All the titles this year, the whole mental turnaround, winning his beloved Wimby again and ESPECIALLY getting back to number 1 again, it truly is unreal. It can’t get any better than getting back to number 1; even if Roger goes on now to win USO and keeps the number 1 for longer, it still isn’t as meaningful or as amazing as getting back the number 1 in the first place. If this is a dream, I don’t wanna wake up. If this is reality, someone slap me on my face to assure me AGAIN and AGAIN that Roger IS number 1!! It’s hard to predict this USO with all the latest happenings – injuries, weariness, unstable form. I think the player who could stay freshest would have the best chance to win USO. Let’s hope it’s Roger! Historically, Murray’s decision-making has often been poor. He seems to lack people who can really help/guide him manage his career. His decisions often seem impulsive, naive. It is sad. I hope things will work out well for him including winning some slams. Now, The Egg is too close for comfort. I hope Roger can detect the stinking smell and run far away from him!!! I don’t understand that Djoko could close in on Roger’s lead if he wins Toronto. Isn’t he just defending in Toronto and not gaining any points?

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    Kyle Reply:

    Veronica,
    Djokovic doesn’t gain any points but Roger loses some since he made the 3R last year.

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    veronica Reply:

    Oh I see, Kyle. Thanks. Btw, love your blog, Kyle!!

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    Kyle Reply:

    Thank you very much!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Veronica, yes I am neglecting my family but it can’t be avoided at this point. But don’t despair, I will eventually make up for it ;-)

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  7. yo Ruan good to have you blogging again.
    i hope for a good showing of Fed in Cincy but i dont care so much about the no 1 spot as the USO trophy. having lost the gold medal match now i really want to see Fed taking NY. he’s been playing so well there last 3 yrs but came up short in the money time. 2009-2011 – though 5th set losses. last time Fed won the title was after the olympics so i hope this years olympic games will inspire hime again!!

    and last thing – i am gonna be in NYC during the second week of the tourny, if Fed makes it to the SF and maybe final i will sell a kidney to get a tkt!!! best of luck GOAT !!!!

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  8. Just saw the news the Nadal is also out of the US Open. I don’t take joy out of that, but we always talked about his style of play being so hard on his body, and that his career wouldn’t be as long or without injury. Could it be mental too? Who knows. Anyway, looking forward to some tennis tonight with Federer, and then onto the US Open. G

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    jason Reply:

    The news from US Open official website:
    http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/articles/2012-08-15/201208151345042971903.html

    So, is this an indication that the dope has reached its limits and not yet any new dope that can energize him running like rabbit for 9 hours?

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  9. Federer is into the Cincinnati quarters after dismantling Tomic. He’s looking sharp, and once he makes it past the early rounds in this tournament he usually settles in and starts playing great tennis. He will be up against Fish in a rematch of the ’10 final. Fish appears to be in good form, beating Stepanek (whom he had never defeated before) so it will be tough.

    After stumbling a bit during the grass season, Djokovic is looking good and he will undoubtedly be a tough man to stop in this tournament. He absolutely stomped Gasquet in Toronto, his movement and ball-striking appear to be back to their best, and just in time for some great tennis.

    Murray’s been knocked out of the tournament. The Olympics took a fair amount out of him and it seems he’s not managed the transition from grass to hard courts very successfully. I don’t know how well he will perform in NY.

    As for Nadal, they’re not going to let him play unless they’re sure he’ll win. The Nadal mystique must be preserved at all costs, regardless of whether it’s fair to the audience and the other players to duck out on so many tournaments.

    His psyche appears to be getting more fragile; it takes him a long, long time to recover mentally from a big shock loss.

    But for that very reason, watch for Nadal to come back even stronger during the clay season. They’re still absolutely determined to break Federer’s Grand Slam record and they can’t afford to waste any more time while Federer, Djokovic, Murray, and Del Potro have the field to themselves.

    Be prepared for horrors unimagined from the Nadal camp. To make up for lost time, they’re going to have to boost him more heavily than ever before to ensure victory. Roger will have to be fully prepared to deal with this.

    In the meantime, there’s plenty of tennis to be played and the battle between Federer and Djokovic for the top spot will no doubt be an epic contest, as it will most likely continue through the WTF in London, so thin is the margin between the two.

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