Thiem Reaches Nice Semi-Finals, Wawrinka Loses in Geneva

Hey, folks. Tomorrow is the big day when the French Open draw is made at 11:30 am local time, but before the draw tomorrow I want to get to what’s going on this week in Nice and Geneva, the last two tournaments in the run-up to the French Open.

  • Thiem Going Strong in Nice

After a slow start to the year and clay court season, Thiem has picked up his results in Miami, Munich, Rome, and now Nice. There is still a lot of work left to do in his game but by making the semis in Nice he made his first tour semi-final outside of his country Austria. His match with Kyrgios in the second round was an interesting match up, but unfortunately Kyrgios withdrew at 3-4 in the first set. Today he defeated his friend Gulbis for the third time and now leads the head-to-head 3-0.

Gulbis is finding it hard to win any matches at all this year and is 3-12 for the year. It’s hard to believe he beat Roger at the French Open last year. But that is the kind of loss you’d think Roger would be able to avoid this year. Anyway, to get back to Thiem he defeated Gulbis 6-2, 6-4 and I didn’t think he played particularly well. Gulbis is just that bad. Tomorrow Thiem plays against Isner which should be interesting. If he wants to win he’d have to tighten up his game a lot.

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He is still playing too loosely on important points. He obviously has great potential because he has everything and he hits the ball hard, but mentally he is not quite there yet. Tomorrow against Isner will be another big test for him. But either way it’s nice to see that he won some more matches on clay after that strong run in Miami. Clay should suit his game and it will be interesting to see if he causes any upsets in Paris. Coric made semis in Nice too so the youngsters keep making their move.

  • Wawrinka Loses to Delbonis in Geneva

So Stan played in Switzerland in Roger’s absence but he ended up losing in the quarter-finals today to Delbonis, 7-6(5), 4-6, 4-6. Was it another showing from Stank? The tournament in Geneva is not at a good time or I’m sure Roger would have played it instead of Istanbul. I’m not sure if Stan would actually tank in Geneva, but maybe his mind wasn’t quite in it with the French Open coming up. It’s hard to tell with Stan though. Maybe just another poor loss?

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  • French Open Draw

The French Open draw this year promises to be an interesting one. With Nadal not ranked inside the top four for the first time going into Roland Garros since 2005, all eyes are on where he will fall in the draw. Does it matter in which of the top four’s quarter he falls, or will he already be unstoppable if he reaches the quarter-final stage? Raonic has also withdrawn from the tournament which means Nadal will be seeded sixth and Stan climbs up to the eighth seed.

This means Nadal can’t meet Stan before the quarter-finals which is fortunate for him, since Stan is the kind of player who can hit him off the court like we saw in Australia and Rome last week. But I’m sure there are players who can potentially upset Nadal before the quarters with the form he is in. No one thought Soderling would do it in 2009, but he did. Will Nadal land in Federer’s quarter and we will see their first quarter-final meeting in a slam? That would give Federer the chance to get a telling win in the head-to-head.

Any thoughts on the draw?

The is in your court.

Posted in ATP 250, Geneva, Nice.

13 Comments

  1. So Ru-an, Nadal could face Djokovic in the quarter final of French open. In my opinion, this is probably the toughest draw he would be facing in any tournament. Also lurking in his half are Andy Murray and Grigor Dimitrov. Let us see what the pressure of a draw could do to Nadal. On the other hand Federer seems to have an (so called) easy path to the semi-finals with potential meetings with two qualifiers in his first two rounds . But of late, whenever he seems to be having an easy draw, he has not delivered up to expectation. So French open is really getting exciting this year. :-bd

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Jiten, I was so relieved when I saw all the heavy weights pushed to one side! But then I look at Roger’s half and realise it ain’t cakewalk at all!! Gulbis (can’t underestimate him despite his poor year as he caused the upset last year), Monfils, Stan, Nishikori….. I don’t think it’s any easier than the other half, for Roger at least! Djoker’s path to quarters look easier than Nadal’s. Djoker can close his eyes and make the quarters. But Nadal has some tricky opponents before the date with Djoker……What an intriguing French Open this will be! Can’t wait. Keeping expectations low for Roger….just don’t wanna see him knock out early….but on the other hand, I think he should really expoit his draw. No Big 3. He must up his game and not lose early. If he can do that, then he must surely like his chances and see where it will take him.

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    Jiten Reply:

    Hi Sunshine, one thing which is missing in our hero over the last few grand slams is his focus over extended periods. He has struggled more when the draw has been easier. If somehow he manages to retain his focus during matches, he should be OK. In my opinion if he can make it to the final and has to face Djoker, he can still get number 18th. He has nothing to lose; it is the Djoker who would desperately want to break the FO jinx and that won’t be that easy with all the pressures on. On the other hand, Nadal has never been in this situation before; this is an unknown territory for him. One match at a time, let us not lick our tongues. But one thing is sure, French open has never been this interesting before! We can start licking our tongues for that. Permission granted! :-P

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  2. Roger better take advantage of this draw. And Noval better finish Nadal once and for all. Nadal likely has to defeat Dimitrov/Djokovic/Murray/Roger to win the title. I mean if he does that then that’s it: either he is doping or he has to be the GOAT…

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    FeDaL Reply:

    Will you stop it with the idiotic doping horseshit that somehow always is thrown around when Nadal is mentioned? I do not care what player is tested and when he is tested, but everyone is tested and they test regularly enough to catch abusers. I don’t see last year’s US Open champion Cilic being accused of doping, even though he was legitimately caught and punished accordingly, and what about Novak little buddy Troicki getting caught cheating and Djokovic moronically jumping to his defence by acting like an idiot and bashing the anti-doping procedures while being clueless:

    http://www.si.com/tennis/beyond-baseline/2013/11/15/wada-novak-djokovic-criticism-uninformed

    What is to say that Federer, Murray and Djokovic are not doping like crazy? God forbid Nadal’s form improves and he is automatically a doper?! GTFO! The doping accusations are weak and pathetic attempts to defame others when they are baseless, when someone is actually caught using them, then it is another thing altogether. For the sake of me being obnoxious, I am going to state firmly that Djokovic was a heavy doper in 2011 and has once again started doping for the 2015 season, this to me explains his recent dominance and reflects on his 2011 season as well! There, you see how that works? Let’s just stop with this nonsense, shall we?

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Clearly you cannot see what is pretty clear in my comment. Mine was clearly a sarcastic comment. I have almost never mentioned doping here before and the mention here was just to say that it is almost super human to beat the other big 3 + Dimitrov. Okay let me rephrase for you since my sarcasm seems to always go unnoticed. If Nadal defeats Djokovic/Murray/ Federer (+ possibly Almagro and Dimitrov) he is almost surely the GOAT because he would be doing something which none of the other 3 has achieved (but Tsonga has !!).

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    The GOAT debate is pointless IMHO, there are people that can argue that Pete Sampras in his prime and when Courts were still quite fast would smoke Federer, Nadal, Djokovic you name it because he was such a great serve and volley player, he would demolish you in 2-3 steps. But take a Prime Sampras and put him next to Prime Fedal when Courts were slowed Down from 2002 and up and we have no idea what would happen.

    The all time greats had all distinct masteries in distinct periods in tennis history. We might get away by saying that Federer was the most complete player in the 2000-2020 era or something, but for all time is very hard to asses. The same can be said for Nadal who is arguably the best clay court player in the 2003-2015 era etc…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    The GOAT debate can be simplified by bringing it into the open era, in which case Federer must be the GOAT and Nadal the clay GOAT. Before the open era, it is too hard to determine.

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    FeDaL Reply:

    The open era beginning from 1968 and up until now is just excessively short for me to be able to call someone GOAT. I think classifying them in their respective periods 70’s,80’s 90’a etc. is more accurate.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, the GOAT debate is a kind of myth, but it is interesting anyway and Fedal have a very strong claim.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Not exactly idiotic horseshit Fedal. We know for sure Nadal uses shady treatments like blood spinning, that there is no proof that it has any healing effects, and that it can be used to mask doping because it increases hormones which are found in PEDs. Also getting hormone injections http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=502193. Sure there is no proof that he dopes and the people who are constantly accusing him look butthurt, but there are some questionable things going on for sure. Doping may even be legal on the ATP Tour.

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    As you said doping might well be a thing in the ATP as it prelevant in almost every major sport, but I always find Djokovic/Federer fans at ATPworldtour.com using the doping tactics when they attack Nadal and his acheivements, its jus a telltale sign of butthurt syndrome 101. And if Ajay was sarcastic then that’s fine, but I think this blog is better of if no one uses the doping card when arguing against Nadal

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, that’s why I banned it before. Not because I necessarily thought it was not true, but it made us all look like a bunch of butthurt clowns.

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