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Rome Masters - Day 2 thread

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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 11:35 am

Some cracking matches today (and a few zzzz ones too it has to be said)...selected's below:

Day matches:
[6] David Ferrer (ESP) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
....wow, what an early match up. Ferrer in 3, will grind Verdy down.

[10] Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) v Michael Llodra (FRA)
...Llodra's brand of tennis will be largely impotent at Rome...Delpo in 2 easy sets.

David Nalbandian (ARG) v [4] Andy Murray (GBR)
...another 'wow' match. This will be a test for Andy. If Nalby is anywhere near form this will be tough. However, I'll go with Andy in 3.

[16] Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
...will Reeshard blow a gasket? Will Melzer find his form again...I'm going for Melzer in 3 tight sets.

Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) v [13] Gael Monfils (FRA)
The gangly French spiderman versus the wily Spanish clay-legend. Surely Gael will overpower Juan-Carlos? Surely?

Donald Young (USA) v [11] Gilles Simon (FRA)
L'enfant terrible of US tennis...will he ever break through? Er, no. Simone in straights, and thank goodness too!

[15] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) v Marcel Granollers (ESP)
...this one is too boring for words to describe. Granollers...hmmm, a granola bar is more interesting. Lopez in zzzzzz, er 3 sets.

[Q] Adrian Ungur (ROU) v [14] Juan Monaco (ARG)
Nearly as boring as the above...oh hang on, even more boring a prospect. Monaco in straights...provided he's recovered from MC.


Evening matches:
7pm Viktor Troicki (SRB) v [5] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
...Interesting match...which version of either player will show up? Jo-Dubya in 3 after Viktor breaks down in frustration from an early lead.

7.30pm [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
OK. The BIG ONE. If Tomic ever wanted to make a name for himself this is the time and place. However...it isnt going to happen unless Novak's head is still on those blue courts. Djokovic in straights...maybe with a 7-5 thrown in.

Your picks?


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Post by Josiah Maiestas Tue May 15, 2012 11:41 am

You added in Lopez-Granollers but not Ferrero-Monfils furious

Djokovic to win 6-4 6-1

Tsonga to win 7-5 6-3

Nalbandian to win 6-2 3-6 6-3

Del Potro to win 6-3 7-6

Monaco to win 6-2 6-4

Monfils to win 6-4 4-6 7-6
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 11:46 am

Good spot JM...I missed that amongst the others...I must have switched off after seeing Granola bar. Duly added, and Simon too! (there are others but they are even more boring...like Garcia-Lopez vs Andujar and Querrey (Lurch) vs Niemenin).
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 11:53 am

Melzers saves 2 MPs against Gasquet in 2nd set TB....6-6 @ 6-6...

But then gets broken again...7-6 pts to Gasket.
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Post by prostaff85 Tue May 15, 2012 11:55 am

Nadal has compatriots Ferrer, Almagro, Lopez, Verdasco, Andujar, Granollers, Garcia-Lopez and Ramos in this bottom half of the draw. That's 9 Spaniards on a total of 28 players (32%)! Only good old J.C. Ferrero is in the top half.

Another conspiracy?!
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 11:57 am

And completes the job. Wow, crack the champagne out, Gasquet wins a match in 2 sets...

Elsewhere, Ferrer vs Verdasco looks nip and tuck.
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 11:58 am

Must be prostaff...the Italians never liked the Spanish Wink (...joke)

Shows the strength in depth they have these days.

Some might say the slowing courts has allowed their brand of tennis to flourish Whistle
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 12:03 pm

Lopez and Granollers have taken to court to the eerie accompanying sound of tumbleweed. The lone spectator in row ZZ, seat 1 is Lopez's mum.
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Post by barrystar Tue May 15, 2012 12:04 pm

Any news on Fed's participation (or not)?
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 12:08 pm

Nothing yet Barry...read that he's going to make a decision later today after "listening" to his body. Clearly he must want to play otherwise he would have withdrawn yesterday so is leaving it as late as possible by giving the hip max. time to settle. Fed needs to be sure about that hip too because if he goes ahead but doesnt play until tomorrow then he's got to play every day if he's to get to the final. I wonder if he'll play 2-3 matches to get used to slower clay then 'pull' a tactical loss? (if he's still feeling that hip)
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Post by bogbrush Tue May 15, 2012 12:19 pm

Whatever, I see zero chance of Federer putting himself through a war with Djokovic at this event.

Don't forget the prize that may await if Djokovic stops Rafa winning this. He'd be shooting himself in the foot twice over if he battled to beat Djokovic.
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Post by prostaff85 Tue May 15, 2012 12:21 pm

Via Twitter I found a German-language sports website where is was stated that Federer has confirmed, after a training session, that he will play...
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Post by barrystar Tue May 15, 2012 12:23 pm

Lydian, there's always this precedent http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/129498.html

If you were being very machiavellian it might be a good idea to win three (on paper) easy matches but withdraw before the SF citing a worsening problem leaving a fresh Djoko to peg Nadal back guaranteeing 2nd seed for RG. Although that would be a risky option for any student of the Fognini Effect (not to be confused with the Bernouilli Effect).

I suspect that Fed will just play if he believes he's not risking exacerbation but take the cautious approach if he's not confident.
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 12:24 pm

Agree...I dont think he wants to push himself overly hard after that 6 week break.

I see it the other way in that he'd probably rather Nadal beat Djokovic to help him nearer to Novak (loses 400 points). But agree there's no point him beating Novak (a grueller), to lose to Nadal anyway (another grueller) and risk his body ahead of RG.
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 12:25 pm

Exactly barry, which I think is also BBs point - I'm just saying in the long run (rather than RG seeding) he'd rather Nadal beat Novak to get closer.
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Post by prostaff85 Tue May 15, 2012 12:26 pm

Let's not forget that JMDP is in Djokovic' quarter of the draw. He has been steadily improving and already caused Djokovic quite some problems at least year's French Open!
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 12:31 pm

'Human Metronome' Ferrer predictably ground it out against 'Flashing Blade' Verdasco, 6-3 7-6...clearly that win over Nadal showed what a clay giant Verdasco really is(nt). Normal service is resumed and Verdy can get back to doing what he does best, chasing the laydeez.

Meanwhile a game of charades has broken out in the crowd watching Granola vs Lopez.
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Post by barrystar Tue May 15, 2012 12:34 pm

lydian wrote:
I see it the other way in that he'd probably rather Nadal beat Djokovic to help him nearer to Novak (loses 400 points). But agree there's no point him beating Novak (a grueller), to lose to Nadal anyway (another grueller) and risk his body ahead of RG.

You may be right - here we are plotting away - when asked about this Nadal said that if he's going to win RG he'll probably have to beat Fed & Djoko anyway, and even as 2nd seed Fed would have a 50% chance (cough splutter) of Nadal being in his half. It would probably a mistake for either of them to get unduly exercised about SF draws and seeding because of the risk of feeling disappointed about a draw, hardly a good frame of mind to get into at the beginning of a tournament.
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 12:38 pm

Indeed. I suspect it may be on Federer's mind more than Nadal's though...in terms of preserving his body for RG. Nadal tends to make Fed work v.hard on clay (harder than Nole does to Fed I believe)...so there is little benefit in Federer trying to beat Novak here. The question then becomes does Fed want match practice in Rome or not for 2-3 matches...and which match does he strategically throw...does he want to give Nole a boost by losing to him, or the round before?

Well, at least that analysis showed the French Open draws certainly werent fixed (its been 50/50 for the past 4 years).


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Post by bogbrush Tue May 15, 2012 12:38 pm

lydian wrote:Exactly barry, which I think is also BBs point - I'm just saying in the long run (rather than RG seeding) he'd rather Nadal beat Novak to get closer.

There's almost as much in it for him in rankings points to get the 50% chance of the other two in the opposite half at RG than the 400 you mention (50% of 1200-720 = 240). Combined with the increased chance of actually winning RG, the balance seems solidly with hoping for a Nole win.
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 12:46 pm

Good point BB - I can see merit in leaving Nole to hopefully do the job for him at Rome to get that 2nd seed and 50/50 chance at RG of Novak vs Nadal in the SF.

But then why put himself through a grueller with Novak in Rome anyway, only for Nadal to do the same to him but even worse. Its kind of a win-win for Federer by losing before the SF at Rome. But it does rely on Novak beating Nadal which I'm really not convinced will be the case this year.
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Post by lydian Tue May 15, 2012 12:50 pm

BTW...losing before SF at Rome would probably require losing to Isner or Tipsy/Wawrinka in QF. All not 'unrealistic' loses although would imagine he wouldnt really like 'losing' to Stan Wink

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Post by sirfredperry Tue May 15, 2012 1:05 pm

Interesting to hear all this talk about throwing matches, deliberately losing to allow any number of permutations - which probably won't happen (well one of them has to happen, I guess!) - to occur.
I'm sure someone like Fed just goes out and plays - if he's fit enough to do so.

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Post by prostaff85 Tue May 15, 2012 1:27 pm

If Nadal reaches the final (but loses it to e.g. Djokovic), then Federer needs to reach the semis... Quarters is not enough!

So if he wants to keep that #2 position, he should not 'tank' before the semis.
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Post by kemet Tue May 15, 2012 2:21 pm

I just saw Llorda make a beautiful volley. It is too bad the brilliance of the top four has obscured this man's talent.

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Post by prostaff85 Tue May 15, 2012 5:57 pm

For the match statistics of Murray-Nalbandian they can make a separate category for dropshots!
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Post by Josiah Maiestas Tue May 15, 2012 6:42 pm

Nalbandian leads Murray 3-1 final set... drop in form for Murray.
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Post by Josiah Maiestas Tue May 15, 2012 6:44 pm

Both got rubbish serves... 3-2 now back on serve
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