- Top Half
Howdy, folks Today Murray, Nadal, and the Djoker were all in action again and they all had comfortable straight set wins. Murray was quite impressive in his 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 drubbing of Kyrgios. The Djoker was equally impressive in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over a promising new youngster Kokkinakis. As for Nadal, he got the weakest opponent of the three as usual and won 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. The other match that involved youngsters was Coric against Sock and Sock won that one surprisingly easily, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.
I watched some of Murray’s match and although Kyrgios is a big time player, it struck me that he is still too wild and needs to mature. He was making some ridiculous shots and then missing some sitters. But yeah, Murray doesn’t make it easy the way he chases down everything. It was the first time I saw much of Kokkinakis and he has a pretty big game that has potential. Kuznetsov was hopeless and Sock kept impressing. He has the big serve and forehand but won’t bother Nadal.
In the rest of the matches, Gasquet had a four-set win over Anderson, Cilic a straight-set win over Mayer, Ferrer a five-set win over Bolelli, and Chardy a straight-set win over Goffin. I like that Cilic seems to be playing well again. He plays Ferrer now though who is always a tough nut to crack. The winner there will probably play Murray who plays Chardy next. I kind of hope it is Cilic. I want to see Cilic start hitting people off the court again. Just to prove it wasn’t juts a one-time thing in New York.
In the top quarter, the Djoker plays Gasquet and I’d be surprised if he drops a set. Same for Nadal who plays Sock. It will be interesting to see what their respective form is like before the big quarterfinal anyway. I would have preferred Coric played Nadal because he already beat Nadal once, and Sock’s backhand and athleticism are not good enough to trouble Nadal. But let Nadal run over Sock and his mediocre backhand. It’s not exactly going to be great preparation for the greatest backhand in the sport in the next round.
- Bottom Half
Tomorrow things start getting interesting in the bottom half. The big one is Roger against Monfils on Chatrier. One of the big problems for Roger in that match, other than the French crowd and Monfils’ ability to create effortless power, is Monfils’ athleticism and defensive abilities. Roger doesn’t like when the ball keeps coming back. Hence his poor head-to-head with Nadal. He likes short points and domination. I think patience and mental composure will be key. He has to be ready for a war basically.
It’s still hard to know what physical condition Monfils will be in, but like I said he will feed off the energy of the crowd so it probably won’t be a problem at all for him. He loves to entertain and more so in Paris than anywhere else. To win Roger just has to keep his recent form up and do the usual things well. But the main thing will be to not fall apart mentally and get impatient. That is something he has struggled with his whole career so tomorrow will be another good test of whether he can keep it together.
What Federer is up against tomorrow
Then Stan plays Simon and like I said I hope to see another good performance from him. He will be in a similar situation with the crowd as Roger, but I guess the fact that he plays on Lenglen will make things slightly easier. They are 2-2 in the head-to-head and in 2012 they played a five-set thriller at the French which Stan won after trailing 1-2 in sets. So that could turn into another thriller. Simon is also a good retriever and same as Roger Stan can become impatient once the French crowd starts rallying behind Simon.
Then Berdych plays yet another French player in Tsonga on Chatrier. Tsonga is another guy who loves to entertain and feeds off the energy of the Parisian crowd. So although Berdych is probably the slight favorite I can see him losing this. The winner of that match will face Nishikori who plays Gabashvili, and that is the only match tomorrow where the outcome is hardly in doubt. I’m kind of liking Nishikori’s chances to make semis because he is the freshest of the bunch, but we will see.
The is in your court.