Predicted Winners in BOLD
David Ferrer (3) vs. Jurgen Melzer - Jurgen could win, but Ferrer is a guy who tends to win the matches he is supposed to win.
Gilles Simon (11) vs. Tommy Haas (15) – Simon is the player who may be fatigued. Haas beat Federer at Halle last year and Nole in Miami this year. Not bad for a guy in my age range. Still, I think Gilles will grind out a 3 set win.
Maria Sharapova (3) vs. Sara Errani (8) – A rematch of the 2012 French Open final will likely produce the same result.
Roberta Vinci (15) vs. Jelena Jankovic (22) – JJ is just not someone I will pick very often in later rounds at this stage of her career.
I have not made as many posts as I would normally make given that this is day 4 of the year’s second major, but my day job as a teacher is fairly hectic at this exact time of year. Things become more manageable tomorrow, and you should see more posts in the coming days.
PS – Gilles Simon exacting some revenge for his Davis Cup loss to John Isner with two wins over US players. Still, Brian Baker’s story is one that I just hope continues for several more years.
Dan Martin’s 2012 Power Rankings for the
Week of April 29 through May 5
1. Novak Djokovic – Novak is the number one player in the world, but he will face challenges to remain number one in 2012.
2. Rafael Nadal – A seventh consecutive Barcelona title have Nadal surging. He is the greatest ever on clay. No one has dominated a surface like he has.
3. Roger Federer – Fed’s 2012 titles in Dubai, Rotterdam and Indian Wells have him ranked number three.
4. Andy Murray - David Ferrer nearly passed Murray. Raonic is good and getting better, but that is a match Murray needed to win.
5. David Ferrer – Near misses are hard to gauge. Is Ferrer close to a big run or is he forever outside of the top four?
6. Juan Martin del Potro – Delpo has played well prior to the clay court swing, but I think some of his comeback momentum might slow on the soft courts of Europe.
7. Nicolas Almagro – Almagro holds steady for now despite a loss to Raonic.
8. Tomas Berdych – Berdych is still in my top eight.
9. Gilles Simon - A solid week in Monte Carlo followed by a title has Simon rising. Change since last week – Not Ranked
10. Milos Raonic – The big kid has won two titles in 2012, been runner-up at another and just logged two strong wins on clay before losing a close match to David Ferrer. If Raoinic plays clay court tennis a la Isner (i.e. serve bombs to hold and take cuts at the slower bounces), he could be a factor in some big matches this year. Change since last week – Not Ranked
Dropped Out – Juan Monaco and John Isner
Projected Winners in BOLD
This will be short as Simon has already won. I simply will pick the first seeds in both other finals today. I think Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer in Barcelona. I think Victoria Azarenka prevails against Maria Sharapova in Stuttgart. I was 5-1 in my picks yesterday. We shall see if today follows that form. Enjoy the videos.
Deja Vu in Spain?
I am not sure about 6-2, 6-0, but Vika should win.
Projected Winners in BOLD
There is a slate of interesting matches for all three events. Here are my picks:
1 Rafael Nadal vs. 9 Fernando Verdasco – Rafa should win this match in a fairly straightforward manner. Verdasco did stage a classic with Nadal at the 2009 Australian Open, but I would be shocked if Verdasco offered that much resistance in 2012.
3 David Ferrer vs. 11 Milos Raonic – Milos’ serve is the biggest weapon possessed by the three semifinalists not named Rafa. It takes weapons to beat Rafa, and I would love to see that final (one in which I would pick Rafa to win), but I think Ferrer advances.
1 Victoria Azarenka vs. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska – I could say law of averages makes Aga due for a win vs. Vika, but I will stick with the world number one to advance.
2 Maria Sharapova vs. 3 Petra Kvitova – I think Petra is the more natural athlete and on clay that makes a big difference.
1 Gilles Simon vs. Matthias Bachinger – Simon continues his Monte Carlo form with a win.
Fabio Fognini vs. Attila Balazs – Fognini is a solid clay court player so I expect him to advance.
1. Edberg vs. McEnroe at Wimbledon 1989
2. Muster vs. Sampras 1995
3. John Isner vs. Gilles Simon 2012
The USTA live stream
Tennis needs to use new media to get the sport out there as often as possible so this is cool.