French Open 2016: May 23rd Men’s Predictions

Predicted Winners in BOLD

For predictions regarding matches in progress, see this earlier post.

Lukas Rosol (CZE) vs. Stan Wawrinka (SUI) [3] – Stan is the defending champion and has some momentum from winning Geneva.  Still, this is no easy first round match for a player who looked shaky on clay prior to Geneva.

Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs. Andy Murray (GBR) [2] – I’ve never been a big fan of the worm, but he is 37 and still doing things on tour.  Murray should hook the worm though.

Gilles Simon (FRA) [16] vs. Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) – Gilles could push a top player to 5 sets or lose to someone he shouldn’t.  Maybe this is a bad pick on my part.

Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) vs. Richard Gasquet (FRA) [9] – This should be a fun match, but I think the 3 of 5 set format will give Gasquet enough time to figure things out if he gets into trouble.

Jeremy Chardy (FRA) [30] vs. Leonardo Mayer (ARG) – I see a minor upset here.

Julien Benneteau (FRA) vs. Lucas Pouille (FRA) [29] – 5 sets? Maybe.

Milos Raonic (CAN) [8] vs. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) – Milos needs to dictate play, but he should advance.

Marco Trungelliti (ARG) vs. Marin Cilic (CRO) [10] – If Marin’s game clicks and conditions are heavy, he could be in the final four.

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs.Viktor Troicki (SRB) [22] – It is risky to take Grigor, but I think he should win this match.

John Isner (USA) [15] vs. John Millman (AUS) – How many sets go to tiebreaks?

Martin Klizan (SVK) vs. Taro Daniel (JPN)

Andrej Martin (SVK) vs. Daniel Munoz De La Nava (ESP)

Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) vs. Adam Pavlasek (CZE)

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) vs. Adrian Mannarino (FRA) – Kuku can play.

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) vs. Kyle Edmund (GBR)

Laslo Djere (SRB) vs. Jordan Thompson (AUS)

Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs. Horacio Zeballos (ARG) – This should be fun to fans on the outer courts.  (Expect a war of attrition)

Dusan Lajovic (SRB) vs. Denis Kudla (USA) – Kudla might get outgunned, but he should be fit and well prepared.

Pablo Cuevas (URU) [25] vs. Tobias Kamke (GER)

Fernando Verdasco (ESP) vs. Steve Johnson (USA) [33] – Hot sauce proves to be a bad draw for the NCAA legend.

Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) – Big Sam probably won’t go too deep, but I think he wins this one.

Ivan Dodig (CRO) vs. Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) – A blast from the past?

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) [27] vs. Albert Montanes (ESP) – If Montanes can break serve a few times, he should win.

Mathias Bourgue (FRA) vs. Jordi Samper-Montana (ESP)

Hyeon Chung (KOR) vs. Quentin Halys (FRA)

Diego Schwartzman (ARG) vs. Guido Pella (ARG) – An Argentine Civil War?

Tennis Power Ranking 2016: Murray’s Italian Offensive

The Sixth Tennis Power Ranking for 2016

  1. Novak Djokovic – Novak would have stayed at #1 had he lost his first match in Rome. In that respect, his wins over Rafa and Nishikori bolster his position.  Rafa’s game effort, Kei being tough, and Murray winning in Rome make his road to Paris look more interesting though.  
  2. Andy Murray – Andy beat Rafa in Madrid and then beat Novak in Rome to take the title.  That leads to him jumping to #2.  Andy is playing some the best clay tennis of his life.  Change since last ranking +1
  3. Rafael Nadal – Rafa played Novak as well as he has since his win at the 2014 Roland Garros final.  Still, he has a losing streak versus Novak that is not easily dismissed. Change since last ranking – 1
  4. Kei Nishikori – Kei was runner-up at Barcelona and a semifinalist at both Madrid and Rome.  He rounds out the list of four plausible winners at Roland Garros.
  5. Dominic Thiem – He did enough to stay #5.
  6. Nick Kyrgios – Nick played well versus Rafa on clay.  Change since last ranking + 1
  7. David Goffin – He put a double bagel on a top 10 player.  Change since last ranking – Not ranked
  8. Milos Raonic – Milos’ results will likely improve on faster surfaces, but he has played well enough on clay to stay in the mix.  Change since last ranking – 2
  9. Gael Monfils – Gael should not be ignored based on his very solid 2016 results.  Change since last ranking – 1
  10. Roger Federer – Roger is hanging around based upon his strong play in Melbourne and Brisbane.  Can he get healthy?  If so, when?  Change since last ranking – 1

 

Biggest Mover – Milos Raonic – 2

Entered the Poll – David Goffin

Dropped out of the Poll – Tomas Berdych (See Goffin, David)

Masters Rome 2016: May 11th ATP Predictions

Predicted Winners in BOLD

[3] Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Alexander Zverev (GER) H2H – If Federer is healthy, I like him to advance in a tough match.

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [Q] Stéphane Robert(FRA)  H2H – Robert got through qualifying and one round, but he is done.

[5] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) H2H – Kohlschreiber is unlikely to make much of a dent here.

[2] Andy Murray (GBR) vs. [Q] Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) H2H – This should be a fun match for fans with tickets.  Murray needs to be sure to not overlook his opponent.

[9] David Ferrer (ESP) vs. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) – Ferrer should win, but it is a nice match-up.

[11] Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs. Andreas Seppi (ITA) H2H – I think Gasquet should avoid an upset even if the crowd is wild.

[10] Milos Raonic (CAN) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS) H2H – Kyrgios won in Miami so I slightly favor him here.

Nicolas Mahut (FRA) vs. Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) H2H

[15] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) vs. Jérémy Chardy (FRA)

Tennis Power Ranking 2016: Novak Reigns in Spain?

The Fifth Tennis Power Ranking for 2016

He is the man

  1. Novak Djokovic – Novak bounced back from his loss at Monte Carlo with a strong showing in Madrid.  He lost only one set en route to his record 29th Masters 1000 Shield.
  2. Rafael Nadal – Rafa did lose to Andy Murray so staying second may seem odd. However, his wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona place him ahead of Murray in terms of recent results.    
  3. Andy Murray –Andy beat Rafa in Madrid and set right a loss in Monte Carlo that could have been a win for him.  Splitting with his coach this close to a major seems a bit odd, but maybe he is hoping to give his new coach time to have a plan in place for Wimbledon.  Change since last ranking +1
  4. Kei Nishikori – Kei was runner-up at Barcelona and was a semifinalist in Madrid.  He is clearly one of the 5 men most likely to win in Paris even if those odds drop sharply once one gets beyond Novak and Rafa.  Change since last ranking +1
  5. Dominic Thiem – Thiem hasn’t really done anything wrong despite a tired early loss in Madrid.  Nishikori and Murray have just leapfrogged him.  Change since last ranking – 2
  6. Milos Raonic – Milos played well enough in Madrid, but he barely made a dent in Novak Djokovic.  That is problem many players have experienced, but until he can even threaten Novak climbing higher seems difficult.
  7. Nick Kyrgios – This surface is not ideal for Kyrgios, but his talent makes him impossible to ignore.  Change since last ranking + 2 
  8. Gael Monfils – Gael should not be ignored based on his very solid 2016 results.  Change since last ranking +1
  9. Roger Federer – Roger is hanging around based upon his strong play in Melbourne and Brisbane and his reasonable play at Monte Carlo.  I am sure Roger will welcome a return to Halle’s grass courts regardless of what happens in Rome and Paris.  Change since last ranking – 1
  10. Tomas Berdych – The big Czech has been somewhere near the space he currently occupies on tour for a decade.  He may not win the big prize, but he wins often enough to be in this top 10.  Change since last ranking – Not ranked

Biggest Movers – Dominic Thiem -2 and Nick Kyrgios +2

Entered the Poll – Tomas Berdych

Dropped out of the Poll – David Goffin

Madrid 2016: May 6th ATP Predictions

Predicted Winners in BOLD

[2] Andy Murray (GBR) vs. [8] Tomas Berdych (CZE) H2H – Andy should win this match. Clay could impact this match to a degree, but Andy’s clay court game is better than most people recognize.

[5] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Joao Sousa (POR) – I think Rafa wins, but I expect Joao to push Rafa to a play a rugged/physical match.

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [11] Milos Raonic (CAN) – I think Milos’ goal needs to be to make this closer than their Indian Wells match.  Raonic seems to have rebounded from his Indian Wells drubbing and drubbing from Murray at Monte Carlo.  Milos can do well on clay because he has the ability to get a solid swing at the ball on a slower court, but Novak should win and win pretty easily.

[6] Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS) – Nick may pull the upset here.  Kei has played well in Spain over the past several years, but at some point I think Nick

Madrid 2016: May 5th ATP Predictions

Predicted Winners in BOLD

[2] Andy Murray (GBR) vs. [16] Gilles Simon (FRA) H2H – Andy should win this match, but Simon is a capable of winning or making a match tough when no one expects it.

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [15] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) H2H – Nole should win.

[5] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Sam Querrey (USA) H2H – Sam has to feel great to be this deep in the event, but he has almost no chance to win this match.

[8] Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs. [9] David Ferrer (ESP) – I like Ferrer to win this match so long as he takes care of his service games.

Pablo Cuevas (URU) vs Nick Kyrgios (AUS) – Nick’s talent should carry him through this match.

Jack Sock (USA) vs Joao Sousa (POR) – This is an incredibly interesting match because it is close to a 50-50 proposition.  Joao needs to make sure Sock’s forehand does not dominate this match.  If he can make Sock play outside of his comfort zone, he should win.

[7] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs [11] Milos Raonic (CAN) – This is a tough call as well.

Madrid 2016: May 3rd ATP Predictions

Predicted Winners in BOLD

[5] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) H2H  – This match could have some fun points and games, but Rafa should win in straight sets.

[2] Andy Murray (GBR) vs. [Q] Radek Stepanek (CZE) – Mercifully, the Worm will likely be gone.

[15] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) vs. [Q] Santiago Giraldo (COL) H2H – RBA is a tough out so he should be doubly tough in his home country.

[14] Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs. [PR] Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) H2H – Not an ideal match for JMDP to get his teeth back into red clay.

[11] Milos Raonic (CAN) vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) H2H – Milos should win, but the Dolg could play above his recent form.

[10] Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs. [WC] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) – I’d love to watch this match from the stands.  Gasquet is less likely to play poorly, but this is a 50-50 match.

[13] Gael Monfils (FRA) vs. Kevin Anderson (RSA) H2H – After Monte Carlo, I think Gael is a very solid favorite on clay vs. Anderson.

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs. [WC] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) H2H – Dimitrov should win, but it is hard to know where his head space will be for this match.

Borna Coric (CRO) vs. [WC] Nicolas Almagro (ESP) H2H – This should be fun, but I like Almagro to advance.

Fabio Fognini (ITA) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS) H2H – Uhhhh …

Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs. Jérémy Chardy (FRA) H2H – Homecourt edge?

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) vs. Guido Pella (ARG) H2H

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) vs. Pablo Cuevas (URU) H2H 

 

Jack Sock (USA) vs. Benoit Paire (FRA) H2H – A 50-50 match, but Sock seems due for a win for some reason.

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) vs. [Q] Denis Kudla (USA) H2H – If every point started off of a feed, I think Kudla wins easily, but can Kudla break Ivo given that the big man will be serving during 1/2 of the games played?

Madrid 2016: May 2nd ATP Predictions

Predicted Winners in BOLD

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) vs. Leonardo Mayer (ARG) H2H – Should be a fun 50-50 type match. If Mayer is returning well, my pick will look silly.

[9] David Ferrer (ESP) vs. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) H2H – GGL in an upset.  Ferrer may come to life this week, but 2016 has not been his year.

[11] Milos Raonic (CAN) vs. Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) H2H – A dangerous opponent, but Milos should win.

[10] Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs. [Q] Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) H2H

Vasek Pospisil (CAN) vs. [Q] Radek Stepanek (CZE) H2H – This match does not interest me much.  The worm seems past his prime and Vasek on clay … Radek should be match tough from qualifying.  

[16] Gilles Simon (FRA) vs. Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) H2H – Gilles needs to draw errors out of Baghdatis.

Viktor Troicki (SRB) vs. Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) H2H – This should be a fun match, but I think youth is rising in 2016.

[12] David Goffin (BEL) vs. [Q] Lucas Pouille (FRA) H2H

Sam Querrey (USA) vs. [Q] Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) H2H – Does Querrey have a workable match/draw?  Yes.  Will he win? Uh … why not?

Monte Carlo 2016: April 11th Predictions

Predicted Winners in BOLD

Alexander Zverev (GER) vs. [WC] Andrey Rublev (RUS) H2H – This should be fun, but Zverev is very solid.

[13] Gael Monfils (FRA) vs. Gilles Muller (LUX) H2H – Again this should be fun, but Gael should win if he plays along the lines of how he played in Miami.

[9] Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs. Nicolas Almagro (ESP) H2H – Nico has not done much recently, and Gasquet has been awfully solid for 18 months plus.  Still, I think Nico could be a good upset pick.

[10] Milos Raonic (CAN) vs. [WC] Marco Cecchinato (ITA)  H2H – Milos should roll.

[14] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) H2H – Una Guerra Civil?

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs. [Q] Filip Krajinovic (SRB) H2H – Dimitrov showed life in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Miami.  He needs to keep doing that.

[12] Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs. [Q] Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)  H2H – Thiem might be on the short list of players who MIGHT give Nole trouble in Paris.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs. Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) H2H -GGL has less firepower, but he is also less likely to play poorly.

Nicolas Mahut (FRA) vs. [WC] Lucas Pouille (FRA) H2H – Mahut had a nice clay court season last year, but his game is not ideal for slow surfaces.

Lukas Rosol (CZE) vs. Aljaz Bedene (GBR) H2H – Rosol needs to make some noise.

Guido Pella (ARG) vs. [Q] Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) H2H

Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) vs. [Q] Stéphane Robert(FRA)  H2H

[16] Benoit Paire (FRA) vs. Inigo Cervantes (ESP)  H2H – Benoit needs to do some damage here.

Power Ranking 2016: Djokovic Owns Miami

Tennis Power Ranking 2016 #3: Miami

Novak Djokovic Still Dominates Tennis

  1. Novak Djokovic – Novak Djokovic is occupying a niche rarely occupied in any sport. He is far and away better than every other practitioner of his sport right now.
  2. Milos Raonic – Milos’ play in the first portion of 2016 places him in a distant 2nd place as the tour heads to Europe.  Milos won Brisbane, was runner-up at Indian Wells, a semifinalist at the Australian Open, and a quarterfinalist at Miami.  Had he beaten Kyrgios I would have been more comfortable placing him 2nd, but I don’t have many options.  Change since last ranking + 1
  3. David Goffin – Goffin played great tennis at both Indian Wells and Miami.  A misplayed overhead likely cost him the first set of his semifinal versus Djokovic in Miami. Based on Miami, I nearly put Goffin #2, but Raonic beat him at Indian Wells and made a slam semi in Melbourne. Change since last ranking + 6
  4. Kei Nishikori – He was runner-up in Miami, won Memphis, and was a quarterfinalist at Indian Wells and the Australian Open.  That is a strong start to 2016, but his 6-3, 6-3 loss to Djokovic didn’t make me believe he is close to springing a major upset either.  Change since last ranking + 6
  5. Rafael Nadal –  Rafa showed some signs of life at Indian Wells, but Miami was a setback.  Change since last ranking – 3
  6. Roger Federer – A runner-up finish at Brisbane and a semifinal finish at the Australian Open make Roger a top 10 player in 2016, but he has not played since the Australian Open and had minor knee surgery.
  7. Dominic Thiem – He has 2 titles and played Nole reasonably tough in Miami.
  8. Nick Kyrgios – Nick blasted his way into the semifinal round and confirmed that his ceiling is very high.  He needs more consistency in his results, but he seems to be on the right path.  Change since last ranking – not ranked
  9. Andy Murray – Andy seems to be in a funk.  Hopes existed that a 2015 Davis Cup triumph and the birth of his first child would lead to a push forward for Andy.  To this point that has not happened.  Change since last ranking – 5
  10. Stan Wawrinka – His titles in India and Dubai keep him on the list, but he is not looking strong heading into the European clay court swing.  Change since last ranking – 5

 

Biggest Change – David Goffin and Kei Nishikori each jumped 6 places!

Entered the Poll – Nick Kyrgios 

Dropped Out of the Poll – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga