Hello, friends. I hope you like the new look of my blog. I am trying to take my blogging to the next level and you will see all kinds of changes. Some more subtle than others, and I hope you recognize them. It takes a lot of work so there will be more changes coming as times passes. I am also in the process of updating and improving old posts so keep a lookout.
- Federer’s Tough Draw
The Madrid Open draw was released today and Roger could probably not have received a more difficult draw. Here it is:
- R1: Bye
- R2: Kyrgios/Qualifier
- R3: Isner/Chardy
- QF: Berdych/Tsonga
- SF: Nadal/Dimitrov/Stan
- F: Nishikori/Ferrer/Raonic
In the altitude of Madrid, he gets a string of players whose game is favored by faster conditions. But at least it favors his own game too. If Nadal got this draw there was almost no way he would have gone far unless his form drastically improved from Barcelona. Kyrgios won again today in Estoril and could win the tournament. Isner with his huge serve and especially his kicking second serve will be a real handful in Madrid. Berdych is currently second in the race and will also be a handful in the altitude.
Serverer to the rescue
Then Roger gets Nadal in his half instead of Nishikori. Nishikori is playing very well right now himself, but even with Nadal playing the way he is Nishikori may have been a better opponent for Roger. And going by what I saw today from Roger I don’t hold out much hope for him in Madrid. Sure he can improve and his draw in Madrid could improve too, but my first impression is that he is up against it. His form during the clay court season so far has been anything but impressive and now he gets a monster draw.
- Nadal’s Favorable Draw
Well, whaddya know? Nadal got a favorable draw in Madrid. No real surprises there. Let’s take a look:
- R1: Bye
- R2: Johnson/Qualifier
- R3: Anderson/Tomic
- QF: Stan/Dimitrov
- SF: Federer/Berdych
- F: Nishikori/Ferrer/Raonic
A nice first match for Nadal just to ease into things after losing his last match to Fognini. Then he gets Anderson or Tomic. Anderson has a big game and Tomic has improved of late. I guess either of them can test Nadal, but they are not a huge threat. Then in the quarter final Nadal gets the worst of the players seeded 5-8 in Stan. Stan’s form has been atrocious. Raonic, Ferrer, or Berdych are all a lock for the quarters basically and would have been a serious threat to Nadal.
I doubt Stan will even make the quarters, which leaves Dimitrov, a very unreliable player. Once Nadal gets to the quarters he should have sufficient confidence to take care of Dimitrov. I already said I don’t trust Roger to defeat Nadal if he makes semis, but I doubt he will make it. Berdych is playing well, but semi-final stage could be too late for him to defeat Nadal again. I won’t be surprised at all if Nadal takes advantage of this draw and makes the final. I wouldn’t mind that so bad if Nishikori is there.
At least that gives Nishikori the chance to set right what went wrong last year when he got injured against Nadal in the final after he won the first set and looked in control. But there is no guarantee Nishikori will make the final…
- The Bottom Half
I see Murray as a non-factor on clay. At this point anyway. But Nadal wouldn’t care much that he is in Roger’s half. A semi-final win over the world number two is probably just what he needs to boost his confidence before an important final. If Nadal wins this event it could just be the boost he needs to win a tenth French Open this year. And now he has been given a half chance by the organizers. Knowing him he will probably take that chance, which makes it all the more important that Nishikori makes the final.
I think Nishikori would beat Nadal, but if he doesn’t make the final Nadal will probably win the title and we could well have a repeat of what happened last year at the French Open. It is very important that Nadal does not win Madrid if he is going to be stopped from winning the French Open yet again. We have already seen if he wins Madrid it doesn’t even matter if the Djoker beats him in Rome. He just needs this title to get that winning feeling back. So Nishikori needs to go all the way, but he has the likes of Ferrer and Raonic in his way.
- Today’s Action
And finally I can get to today’s action. First of all Roger defeated Gimeno-Traver 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 6-3 in a very underwhelming performance. That was just terrible, but a win is a win I guess. As long as he keeps winning and goes home with the title he would have done his job. But he needs to raise his level if he is going to get anywhere and reach his goal of making the semis at the French again this year(an unconfirmed goal which seemed logical). Right now, he is not playing tennis which is going to get anywhere near that.
But he does have some time and tomorrow there is a chance for another win when he plays Schwartzman. His goal should be to put in a much more convincing performance than the lackluster performance of today and win in straight sets. The serve saved him against Gimeno-Traver, but the break point conversion rate was atrocious again. So far during the clay court season Roger just hasn’t impressed at all. When I saw that match against Gasquet in the Davis Cup last year I thought he had a lot of clay court tennis left in him.
This kid just keeps impressing
But having seen him so far this clay court season he looks like a spent force on clay. He doesn’t look into the thing at all and seems to have more fun spending time on twitter posting selfies. But we will see. Maybe he can somehow still pull himself together. Dimitrov also won today and plays Cuevas in the other semi. Munich rained out today so I couldn’t find out if Thiem would progress, but like I said Kyrgios kept impressing in Estoril while Coric lost to Garcia-Lopez who is playing very well right now.
The is in your court.