Thursday, April 9, 2009

Accentuate the Positive

A positive sign from Roger Federer! He's accepted a wildcard into Monte Carlo, which I think is a very good move. This is for two reasons - a) if he's accepting wildcards, it means his back can't be feeling too bad; and b) he just needs some tennis, especially after that pathetic display in Miami. It'll be good for him to be on a new surface, especially a surface on which there is very little pressure.
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Because that's true, I think - this year, at least, because he's not coming into it ranked #1, there will be less pressure on the Mighty Fed. No one expects him to win Roland Garros - or indeed anything where Rafa Nadal is in the draw. That's where all the pressure will be - on the Raf. I think he's more than equal to it - the only time I have ever seen pressure really weigh on him was in that match against Nalbandian a couple of weeks ago, and even then, he overcame it splendidly.
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But we're talking Roger, not Rafa. It will be good to have a little bit of the weight of expectation off his shoulders, I think. I'm not saying he will be entirely free-swinging, but being on a new surface where he isn't expected to do as well might be a bit freeing. So it's going to get interesting. I'll be interested to see how Roger goes. I'd love to see him win one of these Masters events, especially considering he hasn't won one since Cincy in '07. I don't think you'd tip against Rafa in any of them, but... we shall see.
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Brief sidenote - I'll be interested to see how the Swiss #2, Stan Wawrinka, does on clay. He made his real charge here last year, so it'd be nice to see if he could back it up.
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And in the women's side, I think I have a new pick for Roland Garros - not to win, necessarily, but to go deep. Carla Suarez Navarro. I like her more every time I see her play.
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Today's Results
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Grand Prix Hassan II (Casablanca)
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Igor Andreev def. Nicolas Devilder, 6-7 (11-13) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4
Florent Serra def. Olivier Rochus, 6-3 6-3
Marc Gicquel def. Mischa Zverev, 6-4 7-5
Teimuraz Gabashvili def. Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, 6-4 6-4
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US Men's Clay Court Championships (Houston)
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Evgeny Korolev def. Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 6-3 7-6 (7-4)
Bjorn Phau def. Scoville Jenkins, 6-4 7-6 (7-2)
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Andalucia Tennis Experience (Marbella)
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Jelena Jankovic def. Selima Sfar, 6-3 6-0
Kaia Kanepi def. Aranxta Rus, 7-5 6-2
Carla Suárez Navarro def. Ekaterina Ivanova, 0-6 6-3 6-0
Sara Errani def. Polona Hercog, 6-0 7-6 (9-7)
Klara Zakopalova def. Renata Vorocova, 7-6 (9-7) 5-7 6-0
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MPS Group Championships (Ponte Vedra Beach)
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Caroline Wozniacki def. Virginie Razzano, 6-3 7-5
Aleksandra Wozniak def. Sabine Lisicki, 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4
Tamira Paszek def. Varvara Lepchenko, 3-6 6-3 6-4

1 comment:

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