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Archive for April 21st, 2008

Did Jose pass the first test, or is this because nothing could be gauged at Estoril?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 21, 2008

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer (R) listens to his new Spanish coach Jose Higueras (R) during their training session at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon on April 14, 2008 in Estoril. Federer will play vs Belgian Olivier Rochus at the Estoril Open on 15 April 2008.                 AFP PHOTO/ FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)

You think this one week probation period of Jose, will translate into a permanent job. Not likely based on what’s on the table.

I mean why would Federer place that one week expiration date on it otherwise? But I think it’s in Federer’s interest at this time to erect some solid structure around him to gain traction on the tour, by surrounding himself with proven talent.

The vulnerability phase he is in right now is not going to get better, if he starts hiring coaches for a week and firing them because title for that week was not won. It will add to the fluidity of the situation making it even worse. Mentally it lends support to Federer to have someone with professional credentials in his camp. If he starts flip flopping because the guy couldn’t produce a miracle in a week, the journey is moving south in a hurry.

But with Federer insisting that Jose is here for a week and ‘we will see how it goes’, confirms that he should logically fire Jose based on the results so far, forget whether the title was won or not. If he meant how the chemistry between them will play out, it might be different story based on how it evolved.

But to fire a coach of Jose’s stature after just a week for whatever reason, will not bode well for Federer attracting another suitor for that post anytime soon, unless he is guaranteed a long term contract from the get go.

This supposedly extra week Jose has to prove his worthiness is not the surest way to land a qualified coach. Federer should have done all the homework needed to make the decision once and for all. This indecisiveness in not helping anyone least of which Federer and Jose. There are so many areas of the game Jose cannot bring to the table being on the chopping block or the bubble constantly. This band-aid approach is going to back fire unless immediate decision is taken either way to remove all ambiguity.

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Nadal Djokovic glam up Monte Carlo. From cragger. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 21, 2008

cragger

Nadal Djokovic glam up Monte Carlo…video
http://www.atpmastersseries.tv/page/MonteCarlo/Features/0,,11444%7E1294764,00.html

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Monte Carlo action in photos.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 21, 2008

Brazilian player Gustavo Kuerten returns to Croatia player Ivan Ljubicic, during their first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament,   in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008. Ljubicic won 6-1, 6-2.  
Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic returns the ball to Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten, during their first round match at the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament, in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008. Ljubicic won 6-1, 6-2.  
Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil waves to supporters after playing his last ever competitive match, against Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, on day three of the Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club, April 21, 2008 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) 
Brazilian tennis player Gustavo Kuerten gestures after his first round match at the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament against Croatian player Ivan Ljubicic, in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008. Ljubicic won 6-1, 6-2.  

Argentina's Jose Acasuso returns to Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber during their first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Claude Paris 
Spain's Carlos Moya returns to  US player Sam Querrey during their first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008.  
Igor Andreev of Russia is awarded the ATP Comeback of the Year trophy of 2007 on day three of the Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club, April 21, 2008 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) 

US player Sam Querrey  returns to Spain's Carlos Moya during their first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008.  

Britain's Andy Murray serves to Spain's Feliciano Lopez during the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters series Tournament in Monaco. Murray has buried the painful memory of his last visit to Monaco with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 win over Spain's Feliciano Lopez to move into the Monte Carlo Masters second round. 
Tommy Haas of Germany reacts during his first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, against Olivier Rochus of Belgium, Monday, April 21, 2008.  

Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber  returns to Argentina's Jose Acasuso during their first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008.  
Belgium's Olivier Rochus returns the ball to Tommy Haas of Germany during their first round match at the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008.  

Feliciano Lopez of Spain prepares to hits the ball against Andy Murray of Great Britain, during their first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008.  
Andy Murray of Great Britain checks his racket during his first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, against Feliciano Lopez of Spain, Monday, April 21, 2008.  
Carlos Ferrero of Spain plays a return to France's Michael Llodra during their first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008.  
French Nicolas Mahut returns the ball to Italian Filippo Volandri during their Monte-Carlo ATP Masters series Tournament tennis match, on April 21, 2008, in Monaco.  AFP PHOTO STEPHANE DANNA (Photo credit should read STEPHANE DANNA/AFP/Getty Images)

France's Michael Llodra plays a return to Carlos Ferrero of Spain during their first round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Monday, April 21, 2008.  

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Unwritten criteria, in order of priority, that determines status among tennis greats. Can Federer bag more than just the one he currently owns?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 21, 2008

1. Calendar Grand Slam.

2. Number of Grand Slams.

3. Weeks at No. 1.

4. Number of titles.

5. Career Grand Slam.

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Seed casualty count at Monte Carlo. Here we go again!!!

Posted by tennisplanet on April 21, 2008

-Gasquet: 7.

-Youzhny: 8.

-Mathieu: 9.

-Moya: 10.

-Monaco: 11.

-Robredo: 12.

-Murray: 14.

-Karlovic: 15.

-Kohlschrieber: 16.

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You will realize this is not the most efficient position to be screaming so hard, once you get to the locker room.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 21, 2008

Marcel Granollers-Pujol, of Spain, celebrates after defeating James Blake in the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship finals tennis match Sunday, April 20, 2008, in Houston. Granollers-Pujol won 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to win the championship.  

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I could be doing so much for tennis, if not for this stupid blog.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 21, 2008

Russia's Maria Kirilenko (R) gets the help of a medics during the first set of Estoril Open final against Czech Republic's Iveta Benesova at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 20, 2008. Kirilenko won 6-4 and 6-2. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Maria Kirilenko, from Russia, receives medical attention during her final match with Iveta Benesova, from the Czech Republic, of the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Saturday, April 19, 2008.  

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Next pin up?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 21, 2008

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Who has the toughest draw at Monte Carlo?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 21, 2008

It’s critical for Federer that Simon, Monfils or Karlovic win their matches to get a chance to play against Federer, before Nalbandian shows up in the quarters. If Ramirez, Verdasco or Grosjean get there instead, Nalbandian has a great chance to post a winning H2H against Federer. Currently they are at 8-8.

Federer is just done eating a meal that was not satisfying although it did cool the hunger pangs. With the fight, that will need all the energy from a meal both satisfying and filling, about to begin with almost no break, Federer desperately needs couple of quality opponents to ramp him up to the next level.

Although Federer has the most ranking points at the bottom line (111) indicating an easier draw overall, his quarterfinal match, under current conditions, is the toughest amongst all four title contenders, yes, even compared to Nalbandian, as things stand today.

Federer cannot afford to look beyond that match up for now. Nalbandian already has a title on clay this year with one final at Acapulco, another clay event. Although he has struggled on hard courts this season, he is extremely dangerous on clay particularly against Federer. Federer has won two of the last three matches they have played on clay, but Nalbandian was able to take a set off Federer at both. Of course, last time they met at Madrid and Paris last season, Nalbandian defeated Federer back to back.

If Federer gets past that without a fight, he should be hoping for Murray to take out Djokovic before he gets to the semifinal. If Murray fails and Federer gets into a dog fight with Nalbandian and wins, Djokovic has a great shot at the title, depending on how dominating Nadal is at his matches leading up to the final.

But no matter what, it’s hard to imagine anyone even coming close to snatching this title from Nadal. He is furious and raging at so many things right now, that his focus will be right on. The draw he has further fuels that fire. It’s his to lose.

 

Round Federer Nadal Djokovic Nalbandian      
1st Bye Bye Bye Bye      
2nd Simon(33) Ancic(54) Ljubicic(29) Haas(35)      
3rd Monfils(63) Ferrero(19) Murray(21) Robredo(18      
Qtrs Nalbandian(7) Ferrer(5) Gasquet(10) Federer(1)      
Semis Djokovic(3) Davydenko(4) Federer(1) Djokovic(3)      
Finals Nadal(2) Federer(1) Nadal(2) Nadal(2)      
               
               
               
Total 111 83 63 59      
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               

 

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