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ATP Week Ahead: Paris

Posted by gauloises1 on November 9, 2009

tsonga paris trophy

All aboard for the final Masters of the year. Draw here.

Conspicuous absences include Andy Roddick (knee injury), David Ferrer (hamstring), Lleyton Hewitt (something), and Mikhail Youzhny (unbelievably not wildcarded in). As for those that are there, questionable physical form is the order of the day: defending champion Tsonga has a wrist thing, as does Elf; Soderling has an elbow issue; Haas has swine flu (ha). In fact, it’s the top four seeds that seem to be in better physical condition than basically everybody else. Maybe there’ll be no surprise winner this year …

First Quarter: A probable second-round meeting between Gael Monfils and Stanislas Wawrinka catches the eye immediately, with the winner taking on Federer in the third round. Marin Cilic doesn’t have a bad draw and is certainly capable of beating Verdasco, but I get the feeling Marin may be running out of steam after his good results lately – and he needs the Paris title and a miracle to make London, whereas Verdasco is right on the edge of clinching his spot. I’d expect a Federer-Verdasco quarterfinal with Federer winning.

Second Quarter: The Murray-del Potro quarter. Other seeds Steps and Gonzo are still in with a tiny chance of making London (although they need the title or a final spot respectively), and I wouldn’t put it past either of them to make the semis. Having said that, if Gonzo’s on any kind of form of late, he’s been hiding it well. Murray will open against James Blake, and I don’t quite trust Murray’s form yet; Blake is certainly capable of hitting him off the court, but hopefully Murray’s greater mental toughness will tell. A third-round meeting with Steps should be well within his capabilities. As for JMDP … I don’t expect much (best way to be). He’s only played two matches since the US Open and won neither; even if the wrist is better, there’s a whole rust issue. He will open against the winner of Thierry Ascione and Marat Safin, and with Marat looking for some glory in his final tournament, I wouldn’t bet against the upset. Gonzo has to deal with recent nemesis John Isner in his first match. I call it like this: Isner-Safin meet in the third round and Steps beats the winner. Am I crazy? Hope so.

Third Quarter: The Kolya-Djokovic quarter. Two of the most in-form players at the moment against an injured Soderling and a swine-flu’d Haas? Yeah, I call Kolya for the semis right now. Some fun first-rounds though; Karlovic vs. Pablo Cuevas, Lopez vs. Clement, and Chardy vs. Pico, which is what we call a tragedy.

Fourth Quarter: Bookended by Tsonga and Nadal. Big question marks around Tsonga’s fitness, and he has to deal with the winner of Hanescu-Montanes in the second round. Things don’t look much better for Simon, who has to cope with recent nemesis Ivan Ljubicic (probably) in his first round. I think Ljubicic will make the quarters. Tomas Berdych is certainly capable of upsetting Tommy Robredo in the second round, but can you ever really bet on Berdych? Almagro-Chiudinelli should be an interesting match, but the winner (and probably everybody else) will be steamrolled by Nadal.

Predicted finalists: Federer, Nadal

Winner: …. Nadal

If that depresses you like it does me, check out the doubles draw. Pico is playing with Rafa, and JMDP is playing with Gonzo. LET THERE BE PHOTOS, TENNIS GODS. LET THERE BE PHOTOS.

Oh, and tomorrow’s OOP:

paris oop  

12 Responses to “ATP Week Ahead: Paris”

  1. AmyLu said

    So I’m totally not seeing Rafa winning the title (JJ also picked him to win in his bracket), but I’d be beyond thrilled if you were right. I always have trouble with Paris, but I have to think Fed’s form is going to increase with more play. I think he and Murray will meet in the semis, and I think the winner of that match (picking now I’d go with Fed) will win the title against either Kolya or a “surprise” from the bottom (I could totally see Tsonga making a run here, and the only reason I’d consider him a surprise is due to his health).

  2. Saoirse said

    Pico & Rafa + Elf & Gonzo!?! It there a beauty pageant going on in Paris that I am not aware of? My kingdom for pictures!

    Seriously, I am also going with Nadal for the title. If only because it is still mathematically possible for him to finish Year-End No 1. Right? I’ll admit that I am a tad evil and would love nothing more than to see the goat cry desperation tears. Again. In one calendar year. Fed also has a little tradition of sucking in Paris (well sort of) so I am also counting on that.

    Oh dear God, let Gaul be disgustingly wrong with the second quarter prediction, please, please, please… ’cause I mean, seriously, Steps!? That would be just too cruel.

  3. imtotallyrad said

    yes Dear Tennis Gods let there be pictures….many many many glorious pictures of Juan and Feña together. Or even better a torrent file so i can actually watch it because lord knows fox sports wont show it! >=P

    I think it will come down to Federer and Nadal because there basically the only two who dont have some sort of crippling disabeling injury so to speak…though you know rafa always has his knee issues?
    I think ill pick the goat for the win…but then again they’ve both won enough so ill probably be cheering for Fena and Juanosaurus…although not expecting great things from either…sadly =(

  4. Cubbie/Carrie said

    I don’t think that Rafa will win (I think it will be Nole or Andy). But a Rafa win would thrill, thrill thrill me. A win in the city where he is loathed and despised and the crowd never cheers for him but only boos and whistles? A win after his career obit has been drafted?

    Live the doubles teams. Pico and Rafa are good friends who are prone to hugging each other. Please let their be plenty o’man hugs with plenty o’ pictures.

  5. Cubbie/Carrie said

    Oh and forgot to mention the lurve of Elf and Gonzo. After their match that was a showcase of manlove with Elf hopping over the net to help Gonzo. Sighs….

  6. sonya said

    why does it depress you that Rafa might win Gauloises? I thought you were starting to like him…sad 😦

    Anyways he won’t win but hopefully he’ll make the semis at the very least. I don’t want him to be yeaar-end #1 though, that would be cruel.

  7. Mango said

    Remember when Pico teamed with Steps a month ago? What an upgrade in the hotness department!

  8. Jess said

    “… and Mikhail Youzhny (unbelievably not wildcarded in) … ”

    Misha’s girlfriend (not sure if they’re married already or not) is going to have a baby early December. Could be a reason why he ‘withdrew’ from Paris tourney.

    He’s ranked high enough, not needing a WC.

  9. Maria said

    Some Elf: http://www.tennistv.com/tennistv/juan-martin-del-potro-paris-20091109_2252221_1870467

    Keeping fingers crossed for some action in London, I don’t expect him to be playing that much in Paris.

  10. harini said

    I don’t see Rafa winning this either. And I’m really hoping it’s not a Fed-Rafa final.

    Here’s hoping Nole wins. Of course, I’ll be happy with Rafa winning but I don’t see it happening.

  11. irefusetotellyou said

    JMDP AND GONZO!? JJJMDDDPPP AND GOOONNNZZOOOO!??!

    Excuse me, my brain just needs a minute to process this awesomeness.

    And ok. Haas is still playing? Despite being all swinified? Hm.

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