Monte Carlo Draw

[1]Nadal v Bye
Qualifier v Nieminen
Qualifier v Garcia-Lopez
Istomin v [13]Gasquet
[12]Tsonga v Monaco
Chardy v Ljubicic
Qualifier v Chela
[5]Berdych v Bye

[3]Murray v Bye
Stepanek v Baghdatis
Montanes v Malisse
Bellucci v [16]Simon
[10]Youzhny v Mayer
Qualifier v Stakhovsky
Gimeno-Traver v Giraldo
[8]Monfils v Bye

[6]Verdasco v Bye
Robredo v Dodig
Anderson v Fognini
Lisnard v [11]Troicki
[14]Dolgopolov v Gulbis
Llodra v Raonic
Tipsarevic v Lopez
[4]Ferrer v Bye

[7]Melzer v Bye
Davydenko v Haase
Qualifier v Hanescu
Granollers v [9]Almagro
[15]Cilic v Qualifier
Qualifier v Starace
Golubev v Kohlschreiber
[2]Federer v Bye

http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2011/410/mds.pdf

The Monte Carlo draw has been out for a while now and the big news is that Djokovic withdrew due to knee problems. We were saying that he cannot keep up his amazing run forever and already he is having an injury problem. This is of course good news for Roger because it means he won’t face any of the top two players before the final. His draw looks pretty good now. He has Almagro in his quarter of the draw who has been doing pretty well this year on clay so far. Then he has Ferrer in his semi who we all know can play on clay. Back in his prime Roger would have no problem whatsoever reaching the finals here, but now you just can’t be sure. Guys like Almagro and Ferrer can possibly trouble him. I guess it will all depend on how well he has adapted to clay so far and how well he can bounce back from the beating he took at the hands of Nadal in Miami.

Nadal’s half looks easier, and you could be tempted to think this is just another easy draw of him. I don’t see it that way. He is the favorite by far to win this event and therefor it doesn’t matter who is in his draw. Almagro or Ferrer would have been no problem for him whatsoever. The problem for Roger if he makes the final is that he could get beaten just as badly as he was in Miami. But it is nonetheless a great opportunity for Roger to gain some much needed points on Djokovic. Djokovic made semis last year while Roger did not play. So if Roger makes finals it would already be a nice boost in the rankings for him. Looking at his draw I think he should make at least semis, but finals is really the desired result. It is really hard to see him beat either Nadal or Djokovic in this clay season, so he will need to make use of every little opportunity he can to gain ranking points.

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14 Comments

  1. Win or lose, if Fed makes the final and faces Rafa I’m pretty sure we’ll see a different match from Miami, Ru-an. He will be *much* more battle-tested this time round, coming into the match at both a higher level of play and the right mindset of toughing it out. Also, I imagine he will be much clearer on tactics for a clay-court match – rather than a slow hard court where all-out aggression wasn’t being rewarded but was what he thought he should do.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I dont see how he would be more battle tested. Nadal is also better on clay. On the plus side he cant do much worse.

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    TGIF Reply:

    Unless his draw opens up in a crazy way he will be more tested. If he beats a line up of Kohli, Cilic, Almagro and then Ferrer in a row, that is much different experience coming into the match than in Miami where he only played Steps Monaco and Rochus before the semi.

    Of course, the draw may too difficult to let him reach the final; we will see.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I am more willing to accept that TGIF. I dont think it helped Roger that Simon withdrew in Miami. But like you said, the draw could be to tough for him to reach the final. Hoping for the best.

    [Reply]

  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgW23RgI5l8&feature=feedrec_grec_index

    Just a video I found of Roger playing one of the up and coming folks, and look how he dominated. The reason I am on here tonight is I also watch golf quite a bit. The hottest player lost, cause he lost his edge. Golf and tennis are very similar, and perhaps that is why you see golfers watching tennis, and visa versa. Rory lost his head, and thats all there is too it. Roger has too much going on in his head right now, and thats all there is to it. Like I’ve said before,,,,29 ain’t the reason. The reason is, so many have come up to challenge him, and he no longer feels he is unbeatable. Rafa did the damage on clay, for sure. I hope Roger goes in as if his life depends on winning, cause that is the only way to do it. Otherwise, not only Rafa will beat him, but Djoker, and Murray. ROGER!!!!!!!kill it baby…..G

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Talking of golf, Woods seemed to have lost his magic after his scandal. He keeps missing putts at crucial moments and seems to have lost his self belief. Seems like Roger and Woods have parallel careers. At least i think there is still some magic left in Roger. I dont know about Woods.

    [Reply]

    Andrew Reply:

    That’s weird what you said about Tiger Woods Ru-an because I was just thinking exactly the same thing the other day about their career’s being very similar

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  3. “Knee problems,” already. Makes me think it’s even more likely Djoko is doping. He just needs to cycle down after his amazing “run.” 24-0. Bailing on Monte Carlo is the perfect way to do it. A “knee injury” even better. That’s exactly what Nadal had and it’s a perfect set up for an PRP procedure used on Nadal and pioneered, I think, by Spanish doctors.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah the withdrawal seems suspect. Or else he is just taking a break, which would be a good decision.

    [Reply]

    TD Reply:

    His withdrawal isn’t that suspicious – he has a loaded schedule ahead. He doesn’t want to miss Belgrade since it’s his home event so he’s going to have 3 straight weeks of tennis (with Madrid and Rome). And then comes FO…
    As you said, his just taking a break.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah maybe he made this decision cos he is faring better than previous years and has thus played more tennis. If so then well done to him.

    [Reply]

  4. Poor old Djoko. The better you get the more your “knees” play up. Just like Nadal. (Roger’s knees, on the other hand, are fine – which is why he keeps losing to them.)

    [Reply]

  5. I think Federer is going to have an amazing run during the clay swing. I think he has something up his sleeve. I am glad to say that Djoker and Rafa will not be the only dominating players. Let’s see how the greatest tennis player that ever played the game plays with the biggest challenge in his life, Himself. Look, Federer knows he will have to show some grit and pull off some great shots. I strongly believe something will change in his desire to win. Ruan, I thought your post on Federer winning more slams was pretty good. Go Roger Federer, kick some ass.

    [Reply]

  6. I think Federer was by far the second best clay court player from 2005-2009 (he beat Nadal twice and was very close in Rom 2006 with two matchballs, Paris 2006 after winning the first set 6:1 and on other occasions). 2010 was not his year. On the other hand on slow hart courts (like Miami or Indian Wells) he won his last masters in 2006. So my point is that he was much better on clay than on slow hard courts in the past. I hope that this still holds true. Federer even won his first masters in Hamburg (now Madrid) in 2002.

    My theory is that Fed’s topspin backhand is better for clay (bounces higher, very difficult to take the ball earlier and causes bad bouncs) than for slow hard courts (where the slice is not effective either). On slow hart courts it is just a sitter for players like Nadal or Djokovic. Also Fed’s movement is better on clay. He can slide naturally whereas he doesn’t slide like Djoko or Nadal on hart courts which is by the way crazy and potentially bad for your knees…
    We should not forget Fed’s lovely tough and dropshots which are perfect for clay.

    Finally I dream that Nadal overplays his knees and Fed takes the French Open in the final against Djokovic.

    Who would bet against that?

    [Reply]

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