Ferrer is Focused
David Ferrer did not exactly back up his upset of Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo. He lost to Wawrinka and then lost early in Barcelona. Nevertheless, Ferrer is one of the top clay court players of the past decade. He is fit and fights for everything. His wins in Madrid have him closing in one a second Masters shield. To do this in his home country while perhaps beating Rafa in the final has to have Ferrer even more dialed in than usual.
Nishikori Reigns in Spain?
Kei Nishikori reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open and pushed Rafa. He beat Federer and reached the semis in Miami only to have his health fail him. Was this the end of Kei’s 2014 emergence? Would health issues once again undermine a great talent?
A win in Barecelona was answered with a resounding NO! Now, Kei is in the semifinal round of another Masters 1000 event. He is two wins away from being top tier player. A title in Barcelona and a title in Madrid would make Nishikori the king of Spain. He’d likely have to beat Ferrer and Nadal to do it, but isn’t that crucible how we find new champions?
Both men are playing for a huge opportunity. If Rafa is wobbly, Murray is aching, Djokovic has a bum wrist and Federer is in a post baby daze, why can’t Ferrer go one round further in Paris? In a year in which the top tier seems open for new tenants, Kei Nishikori has the chance to move into the entrance of that penthouse. I have felt that Ferrer, his victory over Nadal aside, has seemed a little off in 2014. Nishikori on the other hand seems to be growing in stature. I will pick the rising Nishikori to win 7-5, 6-3.
Play It Again on Clay