Things have gotten busy again in Ghana so I’ve missed a few days of action, really I’ll have to get much more creative with all my posts now while I’m out here. Expect a Ghana post imminently.
Back to the tennis. Nadal did win Madrid, I missed the final but I hear it was a fun match. If Thiem can push the King of Clay hard then he probably has more potential than I give him credit for. He’s just choked a lot of tough ones lately, but this clay season he’s really coming along nicely. He could be a dark horse for Paris! But of course there was only ever going to be one winner, Rafa is continuing what is surely by now already one of the most nostalgic seasons ever on the ATP. Madness. What a time to be a Fedal fan!
The other news is that Federer is out of Roland Garros. That wasn’t big news to me, as why would be play only one event on clay anyway right before grass? It would’ve been a waste of time to even acclimatise to the clay, so I think Fed is making the right call here. Still, to go from Miami to Stuttgart with only two charity hits under your belt… he’s risking getting upset in Germany, then going into Wimbledon seriously under-tennised. That’s probably not a word. But there really was no alternative.
Training for and playing in Paris would’ve been a waste of time. He might have been able to win the Aussie Open after only a few Hopman Cup matches, and no competitive matches on any surface since Wimbledon last year, but even he couldn’t win Roland Garros with only two weeks practice on clay, no clay matches at all and no official matches on any surface since Miami. Hang on…
This week the ATP is in Rome. One of my favourite stops on tour, the stadium just looks epic to me. Rafa will probably win it. DelPo beat Dimitrov in a whopper of a match however which is rather exciting, as DelPo playing well on clay means that he really could be back to his best soon… can you imagine if he plays Rafa in the second round in Paris or something? Dude.
Something tells me the French will be full of upsets this year. The leading men apart from Rafa are struggling, and there’s so many players producing excellent tennis and results this clay season: Ramos, Goffin, Thiem, Cuevas… then guys like DelPo, Kyrgios and Dimitrov who no one will want to play. I think the French this year could be one of the better editions I really do.
Back to Rome, and defending champion Andy Murray is in serious trouble in his opener with the home favourite Fabio Fognini… his season is quickly derailing. I’m sure best of five will help him in Paris however. I’ll be cheering on Tommy Haas in his second match with Milos Raonoc, and Tomas Berdych looks to have shown up this week.
David Goffin is keeping up his impressive consistency by setting up a corker with Marin Cilic, and Stan Wawrinka looks to have a complete nightmare of a draw: Paire and Isner before Goffin or Cilic. What are the benefits of a top four seeding again?
Dominic Thiem will face Pablo Cuevas in a match I really want to see, I’ll just edge in favour of Pablo as Thiem comes off his battle with Rafa. Speak of the devil and he shall appear. In Nico Almagro’s and possibly Jack Sock’s nightmares across the net this week. David Ferrer has an instant rematch with Kei Nishikori, and I hope DelPo can set up a match with Nole in the quarter finals. Have a fun event lads before Rafa tears you a new one!