Hey guys. Long time no post. It’s been a bit of a crazy two weeks for me but there wasn’t much to post about anyway. I hope you are all well though and that the lack of Roger playing hasn’t made your lives too miserable. I must say I am starting to miss that old GOAT now. So in a sense I was sad that he did not enter Monte Carlo, but the overall feeling was one of happiness and relief. In in the end it was by far the best move not to play. At one point I thought it might be worth his while, but having thought more about it it just would not have made sense. First of all Monte Carlo is Nadal’s home on tour. He has now ruled that event with an iron fist for the last seven years. Roger made the final three straight years from 2006-2008, but could not break the Nadal stronghold.
The closest he came was in 2006 when he lost in a tie break in the fourth set. There is no need for Roger to step on Nadal’s turf unless he has no choice. Rather let Nadal step on his turf and then do the business, which will be the case at Halle this year. Roger has won that event five out of the last six years, and it should really have been six out of six was it not for that loss to Hewitt last year. Djokovic is playing Monte Carlo anyway. Rather let him take on Nadal and rest up. There is just too much tennis coming up since the Olympics is this year as well. And given how much Roger has already played this year it’s not worth it to risk tiredness or injury later in the year. Since the Olympics is at the end of July there will only be three weeks of rest between Wimbledon and Toronto for Roger.
That is not a lot of rest after all the tennis of the clay and grass court seasons, and Roger is clearly very motivated for the Olympics. So he will need to be rested. As far as the rankings go it wasn’t certain that Roger would get the number two ranking before the French Open if he played Monte Carlo, and then it wasn’t sure if Nadal and Djokovic would be in the same half anyway. If Roger does well in Madrid and Rome, and Nadal loses points in Monte Carlo and skips one event, then it’s not impossible that Roger can still be number two before Paris. Nadal on the other hand has said before Monte Carlo that he is not sure about his chances due to his knee problem. Well we know how much Nadal likes to play these mind games but we also know he withdrew in Miami, so at least there was a knee problem then.
Roger enjoying some well deserved time away from tennis (Source)
So you would think he will skip one clay event, although with Nadal you simply can never tell. He may be as fit as a fiddle and run around as if nothing was ever wrong, playing four events before Roland Garros and making the finals of them all. The fact that he is playing down his chances before Monte Carlo has another interesting dimension to it. I think he tends to do this when he is feeling pressure. He must be feeling the pressure because Djokovic is playing. Having lost their last seven meetings, it’s only expected that Nadal would feel pressure around Djokovic. The Nadal stronghold might just be broken this year at Monte Carlo. The fact that Djokovic is playing makes all the difference to my interest in this event.
If he wasn’t playing it would hardly be worth watching, because Nadal would have walked to an eighth title. I know some of you doesn’t like Nadal/Djokovic contests, but to me a final between them would be another mouth watering prospect. I guess I just enjoy seeing Nadal owned more than most of you. And if Djokovic beats Nadal at Monte Carlo it would be a huge mental blow going into the French Open. This may just be the year that Nadal gets dethroned in Paris, and I for one can’t wait for that to happen. As far as the draw goes, Nadal has gotten the easy one as expected. Djokovic has Ferrer in his quarter and Murray in his half, while Nadal has Almagro and Tsonga. But it may work in Djokovic’s favor if he gets tested by Ferrer and Murray and comes through.
Well I hope you are at least a little excited about Monte Carlo even though Roger is not playing. At least there will be some serious tennis again after two boring weeks. It was good to contact you guys again and I will do my best to keep you posted!
In the mean time here is the famous RubinJJ’s latest: