Friday, October 17, 2008

Madrid Masters: Djoko, Roddick, Nalbandian Crash out of Last-16

The last 8 spots have been claimed at the Madrid Masters on Thursday, after a day of some pretty cool tennis. One might say the day was packed with upsets, but I wouldn't call them "upsets" per se. I mean yes, Wawrinka, Roddick, Nalbandian and Djokovic all fell to lower seeded players but if you take a closer look at who they were up against, I'd say they were just outmatched!

Yet Another 7-6,7-6 win for Karlovic

Third-seeded Djokovic was sent packing as he suffered a tight defeat to Croatian giant, Ivo Karlovic. As most Karlovic matches go, this one saw no service breaks and it all came down to just a few important points in each tie-break to settle the match in Karlovic's favor.

Djokovic couldn't deal with the Croat's serving stampede which was accentuated with the fast surface in Madrid. Djokovic didn't struggle on serve, he just couldn't break Karlovic and seemed to lack any creativity to retaliate.

Next up for Karlovic is Frenchman, Gilles Simon, who beat Robby Ginepri for a spot in the quarters.

Federer Eases Past Tsonga

Second seed, Roger Federer, continued his almost hopeless quest for recapturing the number 1 spot in the rankings, when he easily dispatched Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. We all expected more from the Australian Open finalist, even Federer said so himself:

"It got easier for me as the match went on. It is the first time I have played him and I had expected it to be much harder."

"I don´t think Tsonga could show what he normally can, today, I couldn`t either because conditions are so quick that there are hardly any rallies if you serve well... so it´s hard to judge your own game."

Next up for Fed is the ever-impressive, Juan Martin Del Potro.

Del Potro Victorious in the Battle of the Argentines

The short version of this story is what David Nalbandian said after his 6-4, 6-2 defeat to his 9th-seeded compatriot Del Potro:

"He played very well, was very solid. I started both sets badly. He took advantage and maintained it throughout the match."

Nice and Precise!!

Del Potro was on fire and outclassed his Davis Cup teammate and the tournament's 7th seed in every possible way. It looks like Del Potro will be the number 1 Argentine real soon.

Rafa Posts Another Win Over Gasquet

Top seed, Rafael Nadal, showed a more convincing display on Thursday against 15th-seed, Richard Gasquet, than he did in his opening match against Ernests Gulbis. Nadal posted a 6-4, 6-2 win over the Frenchman, who was not as ruthless as he normally is with his backhand.

Next up for Rafa is his close friend and countryman, Feliciano Lopez.

"Feliciano is a very awkward opponent on all surfaces; he has got a great first and second serve and that stops you from playing comfortably. Besides, he approaches the net a lot when he is playing aggressively and he is very dangerous. Here at altitude, even though it is indoors and it doesn´t have that much of an effect, the court is fast. It´s going to be difficult to win."

Lopez is the kind of player who every once in a while, has a good run to the final of a tournament - which is normally on a fast surface - yet fails to nail the title at the end. Like Rafa said, he has a good serve and plays well at the net, and when it's going for him, he is pretty dangerous, especially on indoor carpet.

Lopez seems to be enjoying playing at home as well; as his list of seeded victims this tournament has grown to include David Ferrer and Stanislas Wawrinka.

Monfils Ousts Roddick, Murray Edges Past Cilic

French showman, Gael Monfils, eliminated 8th-seeded Andy Roddick to book a quarterfinal meeting with 4th-seeded Andy Murray.

"I just felt a little out of it [mentally] which is not the norm and makes it a bit frustrating," said Roddick.

Monfils is on a bit of a revival run especially after his runner-up showing in Vienna last week. He ousted Fernando Gonzalez before doing the same to Roddick and his next match will be a tricky one.

Murray struggled past Croatian up-and-comer, Marin Cilic, to eventually come through 7-5, 7-6. The young Scot handled the match well as he managed to save the first set when Cilic was serving for it at 5-4, and went on to win the match in straight sets.

Murray and Monfils are 1-1 head-to-head. This match promises to be a good one!

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