Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Last 16

(Pic: Roland Garros)

Fanatic Omes:

I have found myself rooting for Federer so that he can take out Nole in the semis. It has come to that. Both Rafa and Lubey played awfully, but Rafa did manage to kick it up to let’s say challenger standards in the 2nd and 3rd. But he’s still carrying on this trend of breaking and being broken back straight away; and not taking his chances. Sigh. Rafa seemed to be positive in the presser though.

Re Nole’s  walkover – I think it’s just a by-the-by ‘cause he was always gonna make jumbalaya out of Fognini in the quarters.

Federer needs to take Nole out! He is poised to do so. BUT then if Rog plays Raf in the final and wins, that might even be worse than Nole beating Rafa. Eugh. I’d probably puke on myself.

Let’s cheer things up and think about the Monfils/Ferrer cracker! Allez Monfils! I can’t believe I’ll have to root against Monfils when he plays Rog just so that he has a chance of taking Nole out. The things I do for you Rafa : |!


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Neutrality:

Federer continues his run of excellent form and looked extremely relaxed as he took out his fellow countryman Stanislas Wawrinka once again in straight sets.

Unstoppable Djokovic was again too much for Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman put up a fight in the first two sets but was unable to keep up with the intensity coming from the other side of the net and suffered a straight sets defeat. The Serb’s luck continued when his quarter-final opponent, Fabio Fognini retired after a gruelling five set battle, giving him a walkover into the semi-finals.

Nadal struggled once again in his match against no. 37 Ivan Ljubicic with an uncharacteristic number of unforced errors. The level of tennis from both men wasn’t the highest but the Spaniard managed to lift his game enough to close out the match in straight sets and finish much better than he started.

The talk of the past two days has been the enormous pressure the world no. 1 is feeling at the moment with the length and intensity of the ATP scheduling and ranking system. Nadal admitted that at times playing tennis felt more like a job than his passion and felt as if he had been on the tour for 100 years. It’s clear that this apparent mental tiredness has been responsible for his vulnerability during the tournament. His 4th round opponent Ljubicic affirmed this revealing that Nadal made no secret about his lack of confidence in the locker room. “I am not playing enough well to win this tournament. That's the truth,” admitted the Spaniard. He however remains characteristically optimistic he can raise his level when it counts.

Murray was the comeback kid twice when his match, levelled at once set all just before visibility became too poor, resumed for a single final set the next day. Murray , somewhat tortured as we are used to seeing him, fought two battles -  levelling all from 2 sets to love down on the first day and then going on to win despite a 5-2 deficit in the final set. His opponent, world no. 15 Troicki was just two points away from victory but choked, somewhat as the nerves of uncharted territory seemed to get in his way. Murray’s ankle, which he injured last week, seems to be holding up nicely as he had no problems chasing down the sorts of balls we’re used to seeing him do.

The match of the fourth round was that between Gael Monfils and David Ferrer which was also played over two days. The two men fought hard in an exciting and extremely close encounter. David Ferrer had his chances for a victory but Monfils, with the backing of the French crowd was too strong for him.

Top results:
Federer d. Wawrinka 63 62 75
Djokovic d. Gasquet 64 64 62
Nadal d. Ljubicic 75 63 63
Murray d. Troicki 46 46 63 62 75
Monfils d. Ferrer 64 26 75 61 86

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