Friday, October 15, 2010

Shanghai Showdown Special

Well, I said that Melzer couldn't keep his level up, but I thought he'd at least manage to beat Juan Monaco after defeating Rafa Nadal. Everything I said about Melzer yesterday still stands - this is far and away the best year of his career - but come on, Jurgen, you can do better than that.

Consistency is the name of the game, I suppose, and these streaky players could really do with a dose of the Wozniackis every once in a while.

Meanwhile, we had the Federer/Soderling showdown (I'm pretty sure every match of theirs from now on is going to be characterised as a showdown) and it was not very showdown-y. It was a very one sided affair... and that side was Soderling. Yes, Federer won the match, but could Soderling have played any worse?

It is not Federer's fault that Soderling lost this match. Sure, he contributed - he didn't play badly or anything, but it was hardly GodFed - but Soderling defeated himself in this match. He served awfully, hit awful strokes, made awful decisions and just pretty much played awfully. I don't know if he's got what Djokovic used to have - remember how he played for the #2 ranking like, 100 times, and never got anywhere? Maybe Soderling has the same with the prospect of overtaking Murray so tantalisingly close. I don't know. But something was up, and it didn't feel like injury. It felt like one giant brainfart.

Next up we have Murray/Monaco, which should pretty much be a snoozefest - if Murray loses this match, he is in worse shape than even the most dire naysayer would think - and Federer/Djokovic, which should be very interesting indeed. Like Federer/Soderling, any match these two play is going to be a showdown for a while. I don't know how significant the result would be - I'm hesitant to put too much weight on a single match - but it will be interesting to see who triumphs, no doubt about it.

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