Saturday, May 23, 2009

FO'09: The men

So you're asking yourself: What's the point? Nadal's going to win anyway. Probably true. But what's interesting is what's happening in the No. 2-4 positions on clay this season. Yeah, Fed just got a win on Nadal in Madrid, but the real problem for Rafa is Djokovic right now. Put on your safety belts!

1. Rafael Nadal: OK, so let's pretend for a second that Nadal is human, and not the android that he is. If he were human, he might find Ivo Karlovic a problem in the third round. Or the "Hot Truth," Fernando Verdasco, in the quarters. In reality, he's on warmup mode until the semifinals.
2. Roger Federer: Roger's status as the second-best clay courter in town is in doubt, quite frankly. Does anyone else here think he's going to beat Novak Djokovic in the semis?
3. Andy Murray: Not so impressive this clay season. I could see him continuing that trend in the quarters.
4. Novak Djokovic: If Nadal were human, and not the android that he is, and therefore capable of losing this tournament, I would then conclude that Novak Djokovic would win the French Open. If.
5. Juan Martin Del Potro: Nice win against Murray in Madrid. But if anything, Del Potro is inconsistent. He should make the quarters, or he could lose to Jo-Jo Tsonga in the fourth round.
6. Andy Roddick: Andy did take a set off Fed on clay, so I have to give him at least half a prop. There it is.
7. Gilles Simon: Fernando Gonzalez in the quarters ... not good.
8. Fernando Verdasco: Can the Hot Truth repeat his Aussie Open run? Well, a clash in the quarters with Nadal will be a good test.
9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: OK, I don't really think he can beat Del Potro. Now, Wimbledon ...?
10. Nikolay Davydenko: Not this year. I think he needs a few more matches under his belt. You know, like Maria Sharapova.

The way it'll go down:
Quarterfinals: Nadal v. Verdasco, Murray v. Gonzalez, Del Potro v. Djokovic, Roddick (only because Gael Monfils is not in top shape) v. Federer
Semifinals: Nadal v. Murray, Djokovic v. Federer
Final: Nadal v. Djokovic
Winner: Nadal


TopSpin said...

I'm thinking good things will happen for Del Potro. He's one of my least fave players in the top ten - but has found his feet surprisingly well on clay, a surface that is far from natural for him. Unlike say Andy Murray.

Still think he's in for some drubbings from Fed, Djoko and Nadal though.

Naf said...

Yeah, TopSpin, Del Potro doesn't thrill me. He has big wins, but I don't think he's consistent enough. I would also think clay would be more of a problem for him as far as movement, but like you said, he's doing all right.