Tuesday, January 27, 2009

AO Update

So I was a little off in my predictions, but not way off. Actual quarterfinal matchups in the Mens' Draw were as follows:

1 Rafael Nadal v. 6 Gilles Simon (I picked Gael Monfis who retired in his match against Simon, after going down 2 sets to 1)
14 Fernando Verdasco v. 5 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (I picked the wrong upset here. I figured that Blake would finally break through against tougher competition, but he didn't. Verdasco and Murray played a great five set match which Verdasco pulled out in the end)

3 Novak Djokovic v. 7 Andy Roddick (dead on)
2 Roger Federer v. 8 Juan Martin del Potro (dead on)

So I did pretty well, getting 5/8. I'm 1/2 on semi-final predictions so far. Roger Federer only lost three games en route to destroying del Potro and securing his place in the semis. Andy Roddick's improved fitness was extremely evident in his three and a third set win over Djokovic. Djokovic won the first set in a tie-breaker and then promptly ran out of gas. Roddick pushed him all over the court for the next two sets, and for the first three games of the fourth set before Djokovic finally retired. Here's hoping Nadal and Verdasco win tonight!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tennis is BACK!

And I'm strongly considering staying up until 3:30 AM to watch Rafael Nadal play. The Australian Open started Sunday, and it's shaping up to be a good tournament.

-Nadal is still ranked #1 in the world, which makes me happy. It'll be interesting to see how he does here. Traditionally, Nadal does alright at the Aussie Open, he's made the semis once and the quarters a few times I believe, but he's never played the type of tennis he brings at Roland Garros or Wimbledon.

-Novak Djokovic is starting his first Slam defense and he looked pretty good dispatching Stoppini in the first round.

-Roger Federer won his opener in straight sets as well, but he played a lot of long games in the second and third set and still does not look like the player that dominated the tennis world for the better part of four years. He's still better than any player ranked below #4, but I think he'll lose to Djokovic in the semis again this year and he'll eventually slip to #3 in the world this season.

-Can Andy Murray finally break through at a Slam? He made it to the finals of the U.S. Open, but was man-handled by Federer, so I'm guessing he's still not quite ready to win.

-Conversely, James Blake and Andy Roddick need to come up big in this tournament or I'm pretty much writing them off as afterthoughts in Slams from here on out.


1 Rafael Nadal vs. 12 Gael Monfils
4 Andy Murray vs. 9 James Blake
3 Novak Djokovic vs. 7 Andy Roddick
2 Roger Federer vs. 8 Juan Martin del Potro

Rafael Nadal vs. Andy Murray
Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic