Groups! We have groups! That should give me something to talk about today! Yay!
The general consensus seems to be agree that Nadal's group is a hell of a lot easier than Federer's, and I would tend to agree. However, Rafa hasn't played that much since the US Open, so while he might be fresh, he might also be rusty, so that could even them out quite well.
But let us analyse.
Team Rafa: We have Rafa himself, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick.
Team Roger: The Fed Express, Andy Murray, Robin Soderling and David Ferrer.
Let's start with Team Rafa. I'm definitely seeing Berdych going zero and three in this group. No matter what group he was in, I think I would see this coming, because he has been playing stupendously badly. I'm actually thinking that Andy Roddick might stand a really excellent chance at winning this group. He's got the hard court prowess to take any of these guys, except perhaps Rafa on an awesome day. He'll definitely beat Berdych, probably Djokovic, and I think he stands a good shot at beating Rafa.
I see Rafa finishing second and qualifying, but Djokovic is really the dark horse for me in this group. It seems strange to say that about the world number #3, but there it is. He's combined some excellent play with some awful play recently and it depends which way he goes. Whoever wins the Rafa-Nole matchup is going through, in my book. And I am pretty sure that will be Rafa, unless he gets all injured or something.
Over to Team Roger now, and this group really doesn't have an obvious 'I'm losing every match' dude like Berdych in the other group. If you had to pick one, you might pick Ferrer, but he has been playing very, very well lately, and I wouldn't count him out.
I think Soderling and Federer both stand excellent chances at winning this group, and those are the two I'd put my money on to qualify. However, they can both be prone to sketchiness and both had long weeks in Paris... but yeah, I don't think that'll really affect them. Soderling is The Form Player coming in, and Roger - well, I wouldn't really be counting him out.
Murray is in a similar position to Djokovic in this group - he could dark horse his way into qualifying if he beats one of Soderling and Federer. I don't really have a read on his performance at the moment, though - will the home crowd gee him up or tear him down? He's been affected by it at Wimbledon, but as this tournament isn't quite such a big deal, maybe he can turn it to his advantage here...?
4 weeks ago