Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rafa finally graces us with his presence on clay, Fognini on a roll in Monte

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There's something about the combination between that surface and that guy that makes me feel warm inside

Is anybody's Monte bracket still intact?!?! Cuz mine is in a dismal state cuz forgive me if I didn't pick Fabio Fognini to reach the third round and assumed people like Monfils, Simon and Almagro would win at least one match in Monte Carlo. I believe the least disappointing player for me so far in Monte must be David Ferrer. Now that's someone who's brutally knocking out people this week, like there's no tomorrow (6-1, 6-0 against Gicquel today... Impressive!).

The clay season has only officially started for me today because although I've been watching all the previous matches, for me the true kickoff of the claycourt swing is when Rafael Nadal takes to the courts and starts sliding his way past his opponents. So yeah, it officially began for me today, precisely at 3:45pm (Cairo time), when Rafa took off his headband and shook hands with Juan Ignacio Chela at the net after seeing off the Argentine 6-2, 6-3.

Fabio Fognini could be a real test for Murray

Back to Fabio Fognini, the Italian qualifier who convincingly toppled Tomas Berdych in the first round followed by a 6-2, 6-0 thrashing of 14th-seed, Marin Cilic in the second round. His next opponent is 4th-seeded Andy Murray, whom he has beaten at the Rogers Cup in 2007, their only previous meeting on tour.

"We know each other very well, so I hope to enjoy the match and we will see what will happen," said 108th-ranked Fognini on Murray.

"I don't think I have an advantage on clay, every match is different and you have to be solid and aggressive."

"We are the same age, we played junior so many times and doubles - so we know each other well... He is number four in the world now, so I'm a little bit underrated - but it's OK, this one is not important for me... I keep doing my best and I will try to complicate things on the court."

I haven't seen his match against Cilic, but I saw the Berdych match and despite Berdych's unforced errors, Fognini was really focused in the 2nd and 3rd sets and showed some incredible shot-making abilities. Let's hope he gives Murray a run for his money.

Shrug it out, Marat... That's all one can do!

You know what's just as predictable as Rafa winning his match today?!?! Safin losing his!!! Squandering a 4-0 lead in the decider, losing match points all the way to reach a tiebreaker, catching up in the tie-break after trailing 1-5, then double-faulting at 6-6... Yep, that's the frustrating Marat we all adore so much, plus or minus a few broken racquets.

My match pick for Thursday is a no brainer. Definitely David Ferrer [10] vs Fernando Verdasco [7]!! A couple of in-form Spaniards facing off on the dirt?!?! I've already cleared my schedule for that one. The battle of the Swissmen follows of course where second seed Roger Federer (I refuse to reference him with the overused "newly-wed" term) will face 13th-seed Stanislas Wawrinka for the first time on clay.

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marooned84 said...

I still can't get over the chock of finding your blog! I mean, it's just weird u know! and u're GOOD!

have u seen Federer Getting his *** kicked today? It looks like Nadal will have a one-man-show this season, at least as far as clay is still on..

Reem said...

Thanks marooned84 for your kind words.

I didn't catch Federer's loss to Wawrinka cuz the rain delay messed up my schedule today, but from what I read, looks like Federer is still going with the unforced errors, and that Wawrinka was just on.

Verdasco crushed Ferrer, who was actually having a pretty good tournament so far, so I'd be interested to see if Verdasco can challenge Rafa on clay. Other than that, i think nothing but injuries can stop Rafa from defending all his clay titles.