Madrid Draw – Federer Gets a Tough One

[1]Nadal v Bye
Qualifier v Baghdatis
Cilic v Starace
Del Potro v [13]Youzhny
[12]Roddick v Qualifier
Querrey v Llodra
Gasquet v Qualifier
[8]Melzer v Bye

[3]Federer v Bye
Raonic v Lopez
Qualifier v Malisse
Lu v [15]Verdasco
[10]Almagro v Tsonga
Nishikori v Qualifier
Dolgopolov v Giraldo
[5]Soderling v Bye

[7]Berdych v Bye
Granollers v Davydenko
Monaco v Golubev
Karlovic v [9]Monfils
[16]Troicki v Mayer
Bellucci v Andujar
Ljubicic v Simon
[4]Murray v Bye

[6]Ferrer v Bye
Chela v Qualifier
Stakhovsky v Montanes
Isner v [11]Fish
[14]Wawrinka v Garcia-Lopez
Qualifier v Ferrero
Anderson v Gulbis
[2]Djokovic v Bye

http://www.madridopen.info/cuadros/atps.pdf

As you can see it is not the easiest draw for Roger. First up he gets the winner of Raonic and Lopez. Both players are playing decent clay court tennis right now with Lopez in the final of the Serbian Open and Raonic winning his fair share of matches in his first clay court season. Then it looks like Roger will face Verdasco who just made the final of Estoril after Raonic withdrew after losing the first set. Incidentally that was a much expected encounter after Verdasco had some choice words for Raonic after losing to him in San Jose. He said something along the lines of hard court not being ‘real’ tennis and he implied that he would take care of Raonic on clay without a problem. It is no secret that I’m not a fan of Verdasco. I think he is unprofessional and wastes his talent by being too much of a playboy.

In my opinion Raonic just withdrew because he saw he couldn’t win the match after losing the first set and didn’t want to give Verdasco the satisfaction of a win. I have no problem with that. Raonic has the mental edge over Verdasco and he is smart not to lose it. But lets get back to the draw. If Roger gets past Verdasco it looks like he will face Soderling in the quarters. And if he wins there he will probably face Nadal. But it’s not impossible that Nadal will be upset by Del Potro, who is close to him in the draw. Del Potro is looking good on his first outing on clay in two years and made the final of Estoril. As far as I’m concerned he will win it as well. That will give him a nice boost going into Madrid with the possibility of upsetting Nadal. The altitude will make the conditions faster and favor Del Potro. Taking Nadal down on clay is of course no small task, but if anyone can do it it is Del Potro.

He has the weight of shot and the depth of ground strokes to keep Nadal under pressure. He has already shown that he can crush Nadal on hard court. If he is in good from he may just do the same on clay. If that happens to be the case it would indeed be a welcome upset in the otherwise boring clay court season. It would also mean that Roger won’t have to face his nemesis Nadal in the semis. But in the end semis would be a satisfying result for Roger as far as I’m concerned. Basically I just want him to fare better in the clay season than he did last year. Then there is always the grass season where he usually excels. For him to beat the likes of Nadal and Djokovic on clay is a a tough ask. Having said that, it is now time for Roger to step it up. No more losing to the likes of Melzer, which means semis in Madrid.

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22 Comments

  1. I don’t agree that Raonic quit because he lost the 1st set. Why couldn’t he win the match? I don’t get your point at all. He, like Fed, has back issues.

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  2. I think Madrid will have quite a few upsets,one will be Nadal and the other being Djokovic. I see Murray screwing up too. I think Fed., Roddck, Del Potro and a long shot Ferrero will advance. I will tell you that if Nadal and Djokovic make it to the finals, I will be extremely suspicious of their ability to outlast everyone for as long as they have. I’m tired of these two idiots winning all the time. Come on Federer, even Roddick. I hope this tournament is a test to everyones’ skills and I want to see everyone dsplay their best. Federer better start taking his previous losses seriously and draw some blood.NO mediocre serving and going to the net all the time. Federer has to serve well,number one. Down the line backhands, crosscourt forehands. Play at the baseline not behind it.Go for the ball too, run more and put your F@#$ing heart into it. I hope Fed. can prove everyone wrong once again, he still is number one to a lot of us but he needs to show us that he has more desire to win and will need to mix it up and draw from his experience and believe himself out of trouble, like he has so many times before.

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    manu Reply:

    hi dave.

    I agree with you that Roger needs to serve like he did in wimby 07 and wimby 09(50 aces). however, i guess he should employ down the line slice backhands(especilly to the spanish superhuman), crosscourt forehands and down the line forehands. He could also employ a slight loopy forehand at times. He must practice his net play, because coming to the net at crucial times could be decisive. I would also like him to re-perfect the inside out and outside in forehands, particularly since everyone is targeting his weaker backhand wing. Most of all he should use the fabled drop shot of 2009 RG ( although i fear Nadal has already found a chemical concoction to counter it.) Come on Rog,
    prove everyone wrong.

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    Dave Reply:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I just think,sometimes, he goes to the net too much and offers more opportunities for his opponents to score easy points off him. I forgot to add his i/o forehand and mostly his running shots. I hope his serve stays in the high percentages. I think he should employ Agassi’s positioning himself in front of the base line as much as he can,cut down on his opponents time.

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  3. Hi all! Sorry I haven’t been around much lately to comment. I’ve been a bit fed up with Federer’s latest performances and had my own back troubles to try to work through :-(
    I’m not sure that playing in Monte Carlo has proven to be such a great idea for Roger as he’s actually lost ground on his rivals who have played some ATP 500/ 250 tournaments and have either won or got to the final. I’m also a bit suspicious that these days Roger makes decisions about his schedule that just give him more time off! He probably didn’t hit a ball for a week after Monte Carlo and he prob just treated it as a mini holiday. To be fair there is a long slog now all the way up to Wimbledon so it’s understandable. And also I noticed that the tournament that Roger normally plays (Estoril) has let the cream rise to the top (Del Potro) and I’m not so sure Roger is ready to beat Del Potro on clay yet.
    In relation to the draw I always have a look at the other top 4 seeds and I mentally decide whether Roger would be better off in another quarter….. And in this draw I’m not so sure Roger could have done a lot better! He didn’t want Meltzer, Ferrer or Berdych (all capable of beating Roger on their day)- he got Soderling (who is Roger’s pigeon!!) I agree with the first comment on here that DJ and Nadal are due to fall early soon. Their current run is unlikely to last- Nadal has even put his knees thru another tournament which won’t help his chances at the French Open if he goes deep at Madrid and Rome.
    So I think Roger will do well in this tournament. Come on Roger!!

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  4. Ru-an said: ‘In my opinion Raonic just withdrew because he saw he couldn’t win the match after losing the first set and didn’t want to give Verdasco the satisfaction of a win.’

    Perhaps. But perhaps it was simply a back injury, like he said. Raonic’s spent time in Spain, training with the ‘Armada’, so I doubt he’s trying to play head games much with Verdasco. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the right one, no?

    Cheerio!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Possibly. It was pretty much a guess, since we can’t really know the answer.

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  5. “In my opinion Raonic just withdrew because he saw he couldn’t win the match after losing the first set and didn’t want to give Verdasco the satisfaction of a win. I have no problem with that”

    I share your opinion about Raonic withdrawing because he saw he couldn’t win the match. He didn’t even call a trainer to see whether he could continue playing, like he did against Fish. But unlike you, I do have a problem with that. For starters, it’s a lack of respect for the public. and for the opponent.
    And, he did give Verdasco the satisfaction, not only of having won, but of having frightened the opponent away. You could see it in Verdasco’s face at his presser.
    Verdasco was the winner of that match in more ways than one.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You could be right.

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  6. Hi Ru-an.
    Just looking at the draw,he may face sodarlig in the wuarters and delpo or clay court goat and then possibly jesus Djoker.I think his ii and io fh need to be at their best and the down the line bh and fh need to click as much as the drop shot and cross court fh .i think its a cake walk till quarters ,or even semis and from then on it will have to be a great performance to win this one.

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  7. Hello Ruan!
    Is it just me or do Nadal’s opponents on clay always seem to play like headless chickens? I was watching his match against Bagdhatis and it didn’t look like Baghdatis believed he could take a set off Nadal, let alone beat him. And Nadal wasn’t even playing that well – just mooning it back with heavy topspin every single point. And he was peppering Baghdatis with short balls.

    I think I might give the clay season a skip this year.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I hear you Babel. These players are truly pathetic against Nadal. But not so fast. Delpo still has to play Nadal. You may be pleasantly surprised yet. All i know is that Delpo will not disappoint like the others. At least he will hit the ball hard and deep. And the conditions favor him as well.

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    Babel Reply:

    I hope you’re right, otherwise it is a long wait till Wimbledon.

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  8. I know I was wrong about Roddick and Ferrero but Del Potro is looking scary good, served Cilic a bagel. What’s the matter with Bagdatis, he’s a lot better than he played today against ” EL Matador”. I think Nadal is going to have a tough time against Del Potro. I hope Federer beats the crap out of Lopez. Come on Fed, show them who is number one.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Baghdatis has been shit all season. Lets just wait and see what happens between Nadal and Delpo.

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  9. Federer played a tough game. His serve was good,if not, great at times. 81% first serve pts. won, 65% second serve pts. won. 25 Aces. Lopez played good too. I have to say that, that was the best game I had watched all day. Malisse is next, Federer should be able to handle this one better. Soderling in the quarters? Roger has a good chance of making it to the semi-finals. I really think Del Potro is going to beat Nadal tomorrow.

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  10. f**k yeaaaaaaaaahhh!!!!!!!!!!! Adrenaline smells like awesome todaay. Hell yeah! And watching this Verdasco’s face all the time was priceless! He blamed the courts for his loss in 1st round.. then came to see Roger coming back from 5-2 down in the deciding tie break! How great is this? hahaha Verdasco is just pathetic in my opinion. Anyway. Fantastic match, 115 winners(!) and 48 aces (25 for Fed)!

    Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. I think Roger can only get better and stronger after this match. After the way he took this great and vital win… COOME ON!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Verdasco is a total clown. Playboy who is trying to play tennis but failing miserably.

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