Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Full Monte Pt 1...

[1] R Nadal (ESP) d J Chela (ARG) 62 63
Rafa not yet hitting quite at his best - as if that mattered.

[2] [WC] R Federer (SUI) d A Seppi (ITA) 64 64
Look at you! Sliding and everything. I don' t know how much practice Roger got on the red stuff, what with all that snuggly domesticity going on, and deciding to enter the event quite late in the day, but apart from a couple of unsettled games early on he looked liked he was continuing from where he left off last year. Prior to last years RG final that is (No that wouldn't have been very encouraging at all).

[WC] I Ljubicic (CRO) d [5] J Del Potro (ARG) 46 61 64
I had no idea how well Juan could play on clay as he was ranked around #75 this time last year. I still don't know how well he can play as I didn't see this match. But I don't think simply being South American is any indication to dirt balling adeptness, in the same way as being Spanish very much
is (F-Lo not withstanding). Judging by the way he plays, I'd say he should struggle, but it still doesn't excuse him going out this early.
Continuing to love the whole Gentle Giant revival though.

[7] F Verdasco (ESP) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 63 64
Missed this too, and the result doesn't surprise me one bit, but I'm more keen on his next match...

[10] D Ferrer (ESP) d M Gicquel (FRA) 61 60
That's right, Nando plays Ferrer next, and judging by this scoreline Daveed's looking very much like he's in a good mind to put right his sub par clay court season last year.

[8] N Davydenko (RUS) d I Karlovic (CRO) 64 63
THAT'S what I'm taking about! Taking out Ivo in your first match back from injury. In straight sets. On Clay. And no blinkin' tie breaks. Brilliant. More Nikolay clinics please. In fact I'm going to go as far as inducting myself as an honorary member of Nikolay's fan club for the duration of this event. So he's not a rock star and has about as much charisma as a pencil sharpener. Underrated and unsung.

[12] D Nalbandian (ARG) d M Granollers (ESP) 46 63 61
No need to play this many three setters this early on Daveed.

[Q] F Fognini (ITA) d [14] M Cilic (CRO) 62 60
Losing to a qualifier's bad enough but only winning two games in the process? Sheer bedlam. It suggests you didn't have a gameplan, were of your depth or physically ill. Or all of the above. Someone tell me what happened here please.

S Bolelli (ITA) d J Tipsarevic (SRB) 75 63
I love Simone's backhand and he's been playing some strong tennis recently. Janko on the other hand, hasn't. In fact his tennis has been more than a little tipsy (sorry) for about a year now. Back then, I thought he was due for some kind of a breakthrough as he'd cast himself in the role of a Giant Killer of sorts.

[Q] N Lapentti (ECU) d M Safin (RUS) 76(6) 26 76(6) - Saved 3 M.P.
Anyone who saw this will know how you can't do justice to the drama that transpired on court in a blog summary. What scares me is it's a repeat of what we saw against Monfils two weeks ago. Surely not again I thought , when Safin was 5-2 up in the final set. It wasn't all about Safin though, you have to credit Lapentti for playing some solid, unspectacular (nothing wrong with that - unspectacular's good) tennis to stay in and eventually come back saving three match points in the process. Can't say it will do much for Safin's self-belief though, he played some exceptional tennis before that third set mayhem.

[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] O Hernandez (ESP) 61 62
Oscar was completely out of his depth and has what I'm quite sure is the highest pitched grunt on tour. He also topped the amount of time Gasquet spends behind the baseline giving Novak ample room and opportunity to do his thang.

[4] A Murray (GBR) d V Hanescu (ROU) 63 62
Good all round performance from Andy but I'm beginning to understand what he meant when he said he's not yet fully comfortable on clay. Forget sliding, his movement looked unsteady, laboured even, and was caught out of position on one too many occasion. Bottom line is he found a (pretty comfortable) way through.

[Q] A Beck (GER) d [6] G Simon (FRA) 75 61
This would have been his third consecutive showing on Tennis is Served's loser's list and Gilles is only rescued from Room 101 (the fate of anyone with three consecutive showings) by him having a pretty nasty case of the sniffles. But I'll be watchin' Gilles.

J Monaco (ARG) d [11] T Robredo (ESP) 62 64
Hard to believe Tommy won Hamburg a few years back. Ok Roger and Rafa weren't there. Hard to believe he was #5 in the world. Our ends never know our beginnings.

It's too early to announce the winners and losers list but I just wanted to give an honorary mention to Lleyton Hewitt for playing his opening match against Safin within only three hours of getting off a plane (a delayed 17 hour trip back from Texas).

A less honorary mention to Gael Monfils. I didn't see his loss to Tipsy and though I'm predictably annoyed at how early it came, I found it more interesting that some people were suggesting he tanked the match.

Now, I've seen Monfils when he's all at sea, not having the faintest idea what to do out there and it looks
horrible. It's so bad in fact, that some might construe it as tanking. So I think its appropriate to give him the benefit of the doubt as he seems otherwise, a pretty decent enough chap not adverse to the odd episode of larking about. But I've said it before, Gael needs to conduct himself differently on court. Much as I disagree with the accusation you can understand why reasonable people might feel this way.
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