Djokovic Withdraws From Madrid Open

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http://www.marca.com/2015/04/27/tenis/1430133677.html

An interesting development today as the Djoker withdrew from Madrid after having won four big titles already this season. He gets an exempt which means he won’t be penalized for skipping the Masters, after having played on the tour for a minimum of 12 years, as well as more than 600 matches.

  • An Opportunity for Nadal

The first thing that comes to mind after the Djoker’s withdrawal is Nadal, and the fact that he could very much use the title in Madrid for his confidence. I already argued that the Djoker playing Madrid and Rome is a good thing so that he can prevent Nadal from winning any titles before the French Open, in an attempt to keep his confidence low. But as it turns out, I don’t think this is a bad decision. There is a certain amount of risk involved, but I don’t think Nadal will win Madrid.

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“Try my best, no?”

If the Djoker was going to miss one of Madrid and Rome, then Madrid is the right one because it is the high altitude and Nadal is less likely to win it. There are plenty of players who can hit him off the court in his current form. Of course, Nadal will view this as a great opportunity with his nemesis not in the draw, and he will do whatever is in his power to take advantage of it. Nadal’s form is even worse than it was last year though, and already there he should have lost to Nishikori in the final of Madrid, was it not for Nishikori getting injured.

Nishikori is looking very good again this year so he is there for insurance should Nadal make the latter rounds. Nadal is always hard to predict and there is a possibility that he can win Madrid, but there is also the possibility that he can get hit off the court early on by several players. Someone that comes to mind is Isner who is very difficult to deal with in the altitude with his serve, but there are several others who could prove to be a problem for him. Who knows, maybe even Roger if he plays well.

  • An Opportunity for Federer

Roger has already defeated Nadal once before in Madrid on clay. He will be the top seed in the Djoker’s absence while Nadal will be the third seed. I hope Nadal falls in Roger’s half because I don’t trust Roger to defeat Nadal if they both make the final. In fact, a match with Roger could be just what Nadal needs right now because he loves playing Roger. I prefer they don’t meet at all, but either way there is an opportunity for Roger in Madrid in the absence of the Djoker.

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Fed and his clone in Istanbul

He probably needs to win Istanbul first though to have any shot in Madrid. The loss in Monte Carlo would have hurt and he needs the confidence of a title right now, especially one as small as Istanbul. If he can’t even win that then his confidence will take another hit. If he wins Istanbul then he can go to Madrid feeling good about his game and have a real shot at the title with the altitude which suits his attacking game. So this is pretty exciting for Fedfans, but first we need to see what happen in Istanbul.

  • An Opportunity for Nishikori

Going by current form, Nishikori is probably the second best player on clay behind the Djoker right now. He played some amazing clay court tennis in Barcelona to win the title and other than the big three he is probably the biggest threat in Paris this year. He already made the final last year in Madrid and would have won the title had he not gotten injured. He may, in fact, be the favorite for the title in the Djoker’s absence. I’m pretty sure neither Roger nor Nadal wants to see him in their half of the draw.

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A serious threat on the dirt

  • Some Closing Observations

With the withdrawal of the Djoker from Madrid it certainly makes the event more open and interesting, all be it at the risk of Nadal winning the title. Fedal, Nishikori, and the likes of Raonic and Berdych will all be sensing an opportunity here. Raonic and Berdych with their big games will be a big factor in the high altitude of Madrid as well. Definitely guys Fedal does not want to see close to them in the draw either. Madrid is now quite open like I said and I’m looking forward to a very interesting event.

I think the Djoker made the right decision too. He has played an awful lot already and he does not want to burn out toward the end of the year like he did in 2011. And the facts that he will not get penalized as well as Nadal’s poor form in the high altitude makes it an even better decision. It seems he is learning and becoming quite wise with the scheduling himself, the way Roger always was. This break will do him the world of good before the big onslaught in Rome and Paris.

If he is going to finally win the French Open this year and clinch the all important career slam in the process, then he will need to be as fresh as possible and be at the height of his physical and mental powers. Let Nadal cope with difficult opponents in high altitude in front of a crowd that is basically anti-Djokovic anyway. Why waste his energy on that biased crowd when he can recharge batteries and watch Nadal deal with the likes of Nishikori, Raonic, Berdych, and Roger in high altitude?

The  is in your court.

Posted in Madrid, Masters 1000.

11 Comments

  1. Oh My.. Probably Roger follows suit and withdraws from Rome. Is Nadal getting lucky again ? Nadal is almost certain not to be in the top 4 by French Open. Infact I actually calculated all the points and there is actually a chance he is not even in the top 8 come French Open if he loses by the quarters or 3rd round in both Madrid and Rome.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Not that Roger withdrawing from Rome would make any difference to Nadal. I bet he hopes Roger plays.

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  2. I agree withayou anything less than the trophy would be a huge disappointment. title is title and its such an easy draw thttohe needs to win and it would be nice to see an 11th clay court title. And agood decision from djoko toiishe would have burnt till the FO so now he will be fresh which makes him clear fav to win FO . although i wouldn’t love to see him win FO but i t would be better if he beats nadal and prevent him from winning a horrible 10th slam in Paris.

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  3. Federer said he believed that Nadal was still the man to beat on the red clay of Roland Garros, along with the in-form Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic.

    “At the French Open, Rafa for me is still the favourite alongside Djokovic who has been playing so well.

    “Even though his (Nadal’s) form is not as good as in previous years, I still believe when the French Open rolls around he is going to be very difficult to beat,” he told a news conference in Istanbul.

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    Nakul Reply:

    Rafa is ‘still’ the favorite ‘alongside Djokovic’. Last year he said – “Rafa is the clear favorite.” Big difference right there.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    True Nakul, Roger doesn’t seem so sure this time around. And like me he gives Nadal about a 50/50 chance this year. For some reason I don’t think Nadal will win it this year, but let’s see what happens in Madrid and Rome first.

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  4. Roger must win Instanbul. Perfect tourney for him to practise and get some confidence back. If he doesn’t win it, he should be panicking; I mean just look at the draw! His points are dropping off like pants dropping off a slimmed hip. He seriously needs some clay cushion to maintain his ranking. Meanwhile the Djoker, true to his name, has truly come to spoil the Fedal party. He is running off with such a huge lead, he can literally shut down for the rest of the year and no one would come close to him! A lotta Djoker love going on here; understandable as he is on the cutting edge of tennis atm. But, Ru-an, I’ve been having bad mornings and when I open your blog, the Djoker’s face doesn’t actually cheer me up! Ha! I could do with a nice Roger pic for a change! Ha! My crystal ball shows a Djoker domination for the next couple years; with a very realistic chance of achieving the calendar slam. He’s the only player since Laver who has this realistic a chance. You can’t even say that Roger had a realistic CGS chance during his prime because of Nadal. It used to be you could always count on the weak Djoker serve and his weaker FH and of course his fragile mentality. But now, he is like a hybrid of Fedal!! Ru-an and all you tennis experts, a question for you. Speed; Prime Roger/Djoker, who is faster? Also, I don’t quite understand why Roger should choose Madrid over Rome although I understand he likes and plays well in Madrid. As I understand it, Rome plays more similar to RG whereas Madrid is completely different with its high altitude. I would think Rome would prepare one better for RG. I think Djoker got it right to skip Madrid. Get some rest, no points to defend and it doesn’t play like RG. And last but certainly not least, I think no one would want Nishikori in their draws this spring!

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    Dolores Reply:

    Just wrote a comment and somehow it disappeared, maybe my mistake.
    Hello Ru-an, Veronica and all! Nice to hear from you, Veronica, like your comment, also agree with you on having Roger’s picture show on Ultimate Tennis. Thank You, Ru-an.
    Roger won his first match in great style today, continue so, Roger.
    Veronica, are you disappointed, too, Roger sinfully cut off his beautiful curls! Sorry, Ru-an, this comment is out of place but could not resist.
    Best to all,
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Again Dolores? Strange that. No problem for the hair comment. Roger is still a part of this blog and so are you. Nice to hear from you.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well I guess we have some kind of telepathy going because I changed the cover photo today before I read your comment. You’re welcome! Haha. Seriously though I did think about you and Dolores and it’s nice to see you comment. Sorry if the Djoker header didn’t make you feel better, but at least I changed the one where he fist pumps while looking into the camera. You have a point about the calendar slam. I am still pessimistic about it but your logic is sound. Also since you are the official oracle here I can’t underestimate you. Lol. What do you mean about Roger playing Madrid instead of Rome? Who said he will do that?

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