ATP Week Ahead: Indian Wells
Posted by gauloises1 on March 10, 2010
Top 8 seeds: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko, Robin Soderling, Andy Roddick, Marin Cilic
Quarter #1: Roger Federer’s health and match fitness are something of a question mark going in to this tournament, but he’s got a nice draw, unless Steps or Baggy can pull off a major upset. In the bottom eighth, much will depend on the state of Andy Roddick’s shoulder, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him upset in the fourth round by Monfils or – dare I dream? – Nalbandian … Predicted semifinalist: Federer.
Quarter #2: Has Andy Murray picked himself up off the mat yet? Well, if he isn’t, he can damn well put the spoon back in the ice-cream and get back up starting now, because he’s got a really nice draw up to the fourth round. Ivo Karlovic doesn’t bother him as a rule and Ferru should, fingers crossed, be fairly straightforward on a hard court. In the bottom eighth, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rolled his ankle in a dead Davis Cup rubber at the weekend and Robin Soderling has a loss to Feliciano Lopez that could come back to haunt him, but hopefully nothing stands in the way of a blockbuster fourth round. (I’m also looking forward to a possible Zeballos-Montanes second round.) Predicted semifinalist: Mur…Tsong…ling. I don’t know. Soderling.
Quarter #3: The good news is that Ernie made it into the main draw. The bad news is that he drew Marco Chiudinelli in the first, with a meeting with Kolya waiting if he wins that. Tomas Berdych and Fernando Verdasco should have a WHAM! BAM! KABLAMMO! third round with the winner meeting Kolya. I could feel Verdasco for that, actually. In the bottom eighth, Isner and Querrey have an ideal opportunity to bounce back from their Davis Cup defeat and could meet in the third round, but I can’t believe either beats Rafa if he’s healthy and well-rested, even if he’s somehow forgotten how to play tennis. Take note, though, of a certain Mario Ancic playing a qualifier in the first round … Predicted semifinalist: Rafa. I’m feeling it. It’s time.
Quarter #4: Novak Djokovic is nominally the healthiest of the big guns. He’s also the one who’s played by far the most tennis. It could catch up with him as early as the second round, if Mardy Fish plays inspired tennis as he occasionally does on home ground, or the third, against Kohlschreiber who upset him at the 2009 French Open. The good news is that I can’t see him having a particularly dangerous fourth-round opponent, unless Gilles Simon has made a sudden recovery and has come prepared to run him into the ground. That match could last years, if it happens. The top eighth is loaded with my favourites – Marin, Boss, Pico and Nose Job. I’m going to say Marin comes through and if I wasn’t terrified of jinxing him, I’d say he makes the semifinals. I am, though, so .. Predicted semifinalist: Novak Djokovic
Semifinals: Federer d. Soderling; Nadal d. Djokovic
Final: Federer d. Nadal
Oh yes, I went there. Thoughts?