Hey folks. I hope you all had a good weekend and are ready for the coming week. Above you see the draw for Basel which is pretty tough for Roger and pretty easy for Nadal. I’m not usually the type that believes in conspiracies but ever since Nadal’s comeback he has gotten easy draws in every tournament he played. Yet still he has lost to Klizan and Lopez. So I guess no draw is easy for Nadal at this point. The opposite can be said for Roger who is in such great form that no draw appears difficult for him. Not indoors anyway. It just seems strange that Nadal gets a qualifier in the first round while Roger gets a good indoor player in Muller. Then Roger could play Janowicz in the next round who has a huge serve and has been fighting his way back after a very poor start to the year. Nadal on the other hand gets another qualifier or Roger-Vasselin, who is not exactly a big danger.
In the quarters Roger will most likely play Dimitrov who is the most difficult opponent in the quarters for any of the top four seeds, while Nadal gets Gulbis who was just routined by Agut in the semis of Moscow. Looking at Stan he has a pretty tough draw himself because Kukushkin is a dangerous player, and then he has Karlovic in the quarters. I’m sure Stan will desperately want to find some form in Basel after losing his first match to Simon in Shanghai. I’m sure he’d at least want to make semis, but it won’t be easy. If he does make semis he could be another tough opponent for Roger. Nadal on the other hand could face Raonic or Goffin. Raonic lost his first match to Berankis in Moscow. So he isn’t in the greatest of form either. I am hoping for a Fedal final, but with Nadal being in the form he is in that could be a tough ask. We will see. Draws are unpredictable.
But I guess Nadal will be as desperate as anyone to get some wins under the belt after his recent defeats, so I won’t be surprised if he makes the final either. Definitely this idea that he has appendicitis should not be taken seriously, because we know by now that he uses those things to take pressure off himself and then he comes out playing the best tennis of his life. So if I was Roger I would expect him to make the final and be at his best. And even if he is at his best I still like Roger’s chances given the way he played in Shanghai, which is why I want to see a Fedal final. Roger hasn’t had a win over Nadal since Indian Wells in 2012 and lost their last five encounters. And as is usually the case Nadal have beaten Roger when he was at his worst(four times in 2013), while he has been able to dodge Roger this year when his own form has been poor and Roger has been playing well.
Therefor I won’t be surprised if he dodges Roger again in Basel if Roger makes the final, but I’m hoping for something different anyway. Of course nothing in tennis is more satisfying than Roger beating Nadal, and this is the ideal timing with Roger in top form and Basel being indoors and home for Roger. Not that tournament director Brenwald is trying to make Roger feel at home. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he had something to do with Roger’s tough draw and Nadal’s easy draw. But like I said that hardly matters given the form Roger has been in. The more important issue is that it sounds like Roger will skip Paris to prepare on clay for Davis Cup. Roger has already posted two pictures of himself training on clay on twitter of late so he is clearly very serious about the Davis Cup. He said since the beginning that the Masters Cup and Davis Cup will be his main focuses, so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
But then again he didn’t know what his form would be like in Shanghai. There has been no official confirmation, but there has been a report from a French paper I think that Roger will skip Paris to prepare on clay for Davis Cup. You will remember I said before Shanghai that Roger should skip Paris, but I never expected he would win Shanghai. So I was actually disappointed to hear he might skip Paris. If he was gonna skip anything I’d rather it is Basel where Brenwald has historically treated him poorly anyway. If he played Paris instead then he would still have a chance of getting the year end #1. If he skips it and Djokovic plays then there is no chance. I’m not sure about this idea of preparing on clay during the indoor season either. How does that affect his play indoors? I know for Roger Davis Cup is a huge deal but for me personally it is only a means to an end, so I am somewhat disappointed by all of this.
Of course there has been no confirmation that Roger will withdraw from Paris, but it does look likely. I know if Roger wins Davis Cup it could really inspire him for the Australian Open next year, but wouldn’t being #1 at age 33 do the same? Obviously Roger knows his own body and he knows what is best for him, but personally I would have liked him to focus more on the indoor season and getting the year end #1. If he wins the Masters Cup or end the year #1 it will give him confidence for Davis Cup anyway. Why does he need to prepare so early on clay? He will have four days after the Masters Cup. Now it seems complicated how he is alternating between surfaces. If he skips Paris he can pretty much forget about the #1 ranking. I just hope this alternating of surfaces doesn’t cost him the Masters Cup too. And what if he loses the Davis Cup too? Yup, then he has nothing.
Hopefully he gets his fifth title of the year in Basel anyway. First things first.