Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor - Sighting Land: Indian Wells Previews
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Sighting Land: Indian Wells Previews 03/10/2010 - 3:55 PM

Mc We’ve left the island of Oz far behind. We’ve flown over the murky, misty, sometimes brackish waters of February. Now, at last, we’ve sighted the land otherwise known as the 2010 tennis season. It’s hard land, made of desert, steel, and asphalt, and the palm trees have to fight to keep from having their heads chopped off in the wind. But it’s bright there, and not too humid, the perfect place to get off the plane and run around. It's also, luckily for most of us, the perfect place to watch other, younger people run around.

That’s the part we know about Indian Wells. What we have less of an idea about this time around is which of those younger people might win. This may not be unusual on the women’s side, where the Williams sisters traditionally let the rest of the WTA field have their 15 minutes in the sun. But it’s truer than ever for the men, where three of the top contenders come in with question marks penciled lightly next to their names. Roger Federer has been sick, Rafael Nadal has been hurt, and Novak Djokivic has been busting racquets, breathing heavily, spouting tears, punching himself, and otherwise leaving everything he’s got on the courts of Dubai and Serbia. We may be in for that rarest of events on the men’s tour: a surprise.

First Quarter

Federer is just getting back onto the court after weathering a lung infection, but he couldn’t ask for a better place to recuperate and make a few bucks while he's at it. It’s conceivable that he’ll be rusty, and it's conceivable that he’ll take a match or two to find his form, which has been the case at a few Masters events in the past. But is it conceivable, even over the course of just two or three sets, that he’ll be rusty enough to lose to Victor Hanescu, or Juan Ignacio Chela, or Marcos Baghdatis? Actually, the Baghdatis match might be a good one; back when he was a contender himself, the Cypriot reached the semis in Indian Wells.

On the other side of Federer’s quarter is Andy Roddick. This isn't the most awesome news that the American could have received, but he's been his usual steady self so far this year, and, after skipping Davis Cup, he won’t come in having done too much roadwork. Roddick is slotted to play Gael Monfils in the round of 16. The question for the Frenchman may be the opposite of Roddick’s—how will his own Davis Cup success this past weekend leave him feeling? Mentally drained, or emotionally energized? Either way, I hope to see Monfils play Richard Gasquet in the second round. To witness French panache on a tennis court, you have to find it early in a big event.

Sleepers: Marcos Baghdatis, Radek Stepanek

Semifinalist: Federer


Second Quarter

Where does Andy Murray fit into all of this? He’s not sick, he’s not hurt, he’s not tired—maybe every pro should develop a video game addiction; it seems to serve Murray’s body well. Last year he beat Federer here before losing to Nadal in a windy, annoying final. One more thing: It’s hard to top Murray’s draw. Andreev is the seed nearest him, then Karlovic, then Ferrer. Then, on the other side of the section, Tsonga, and then, all the way at the bottom, Soderling.

Speaking of which, this might be a telling event for Soderling: How will he meet heightened expectations? So far this year, he’s failed miserably at it, with a first-round loss in Melbourne, and succeeded modestly, with a title in Rotterdam. The latter was indoors, which is Sod’s turf. Desert wind? It can get to him and his towering toss. You might think Indian Wells and its slow hard courts would be kinder to Tsonga, who can generate pace off pretty much anything, and he did play a minor classic here a couple of years ago against Nadal. But he remains supremely unpredictable, as his third-round exit in 2009 attests. A round of 16 matchup with Soderling would be a battle of power and athleticism at its herkiest and jerkiest. Not that it wouldn't be fun to watch them take their cuts.

Player to watch early: Michael Llodra. Another Frenchman to catch while you can. At least go for the backhand volley. There may never be another quite like it.

Semifinalist: Murray

 

Third Quarter

Davydenko rides the top rung here. Consider the Russian another desert curiosity. His efficient blend of offense and defense was designed for the slow-court era—it may even be the first pure product of it—yet he’s only reached the fourth round once. Like Soderling, it could be a telling tournament for Kolya. He’s stepped forward to No. 5 over the last six months and has begun to tentatively be mentioned as a real Slam contender—I’ve even challenged the guy to finally go for it, but he hasn’t listened yet. So is Davydenko at least a contender in an event as significant as Indian Wells? He did win in Key Biscayne a couple of years ago, but that’s a tournament where the top guys can be a little worn down, and Davydenko specializes in picking off players when their guard is down, especially late in the season—money doesn't know if it was won in Paris or Kuala Lumpur, after all. He could play Gulbis in the second round, and Verdasco, whom he beat in five in Melbourne, in the fourth.

Wait, I’ve been talking about Davydenko this whole time without noticing who’s on the other side of his section: Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, who’s seeded No. 3. The early part of his draw is TBD at the moment—there’s Julien Benneteau, Mario Ancic, and three qualifiers to be named later. But there’s some danger after that, in the hulking form of either John Isner—who has suddenly become an intriguing figure in any bracket—or Sam Querrey. The desert, its golf courses, and its slow tennis courts suit Nadal; he used this event to break out of a slump way back in 2007.

Sleeper: John Isner

Semifinalist: Davydenko

 

Fourth Quarter

Novak Djokovic makes a rare appearance on the bottom rung of a Masters bracket. Will his DC win last weekend give him momentum, or leave him flat when he returns to the tour as usual? There are a couple of tricky players near him—Fish, Kohlschreiber—and potentially an even trickier one farther away in Marin Cilic. At the risk of repeating myself one too many times, I will boldly state that this could very well be a telling event for Cilic, too. He has the breakout Slam performance behind him, he has the contemporary, no-glaring-weakness, no-spectacular-weapon game that works on these courts, and he now has the wise words of new part-time coach Goran Ivanisevic ringing in he ears—hold on, is that a good thing? Best of all, Cilic has the draw. Moya, Bellucci, Ferrero, Monaco: These are the clay-court lovers whom he’ll likely have to face to reach the quarters.

First-round match for Americans to watch: Taylor Dent vs. Ryan Harrison

Semifinalist: Cilic

 

Semifinals: Murray d. Federer; Cilic d. Davydenko

Final: Cilic d. Murray

Champion: Marin Cilic


Jh***

Regarding the Indian Wells women's draw, I'd be tempted to say that with the cats away, the mice get to come out and play. And this would be a fair assessment of an event where the top three seeds are Svetlana Kuznetsova, Caroline Wozniacki, and Victoria Azarenka, while Venus and Serena Williams are elsewhere. Except that this year two other cats—athletic ones at that—have returned. Tucked away in the quiet regions of the draw you’ll find the names of (unseeded) Justine Henin and (No. 14 seed) Kim Clijsters—I was startled, in a good way, to see them as I scanned down the names. In the last two majors, they’ve come from similarly obscure positions to win a title and reach a final. Is Indian Wells the next tournament to get the Belgian treatment?

First Quarter

Kuznetsova's top billing didn’t come with any perks. She'll get Clijsters in the round of 16. But should we worry about Kim II’s consistency, after her sleepwalk through Melbourne? She didn’t react well to a bad day, and Alisa Kleybanova, her likely third-round opponent, is good enough to make her pay for another. If Clijsters builds momentum, though, you have to pick her over Kuzzie. She’s 7-1 against the Russian.

The other side of this section, where Jankovic is scheduled to meet Pennetta in the fourth round, is more haphazard. At first glance, it seems like Kvitova, Cibulkova, and Peer might find themselves with a shot at going deeper in the draw.

First-round match to watch: Cornet vs. Suarez Navarro. Nice games on both of them, though neither is a world-beater

Semifinalist: Clijsters

 

Second Quarter

Here we have a collection of what you might call last year’s girls: Zvonareva and Ivanovic, the 2009 IW finalists, as well as semifinalists Pavlyuchenkova and Azarenka. And you can throw two-time champ Hantuchova in with them. Who can rekindle the fire? Azarenka and Pavlyuchenkova have started well this year, while Ivanovic, as we know, hasn’t. Zvonareva remains a mystery. Seemingly unbeatable during certain weeks, she nonetheless disappears, due to injury or emotional overload, for long stretches. Her draw—she might play Ivanovic early—gives her a pretty good shot at making another reappearance.

Two other names stand out: Wickmayer and Stosur. They were two of the tour’s most improved in 2009, and they play appealingly physical games. Does either have enough to make herself this year's girl?

Others to watch: Melanie Oudin, who plays Italy’s Roberta Vinci. Blast from the past qualifier Karolina Sprem. And blast from the future qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito

Semifinalist: Wickmayer

 

Third Quarter

Pity Magdalena Rybarkova. Here she is in the softest section of a Premier draw that she’ll likely see in her life, and whose name shows up right beside hers? Polona Hercog, maybe? Melinda Czink, hopefully? The pushing-40 Kimiko Date Krumm, please? No, it's Justine Henin, who owns nearly as many majors as every other player in the tournament combined.

Who else is here? Dementieva is the top seed, followed by Radwanska, and then Bartoli, and then Schiavone, and then Rezai, and then . . . do I need to continue? Well, actually, Sabine Lisicki is also around, and she’s dangerous if you catch in the right two-hour window. I look forward to a fourth-round sequel to the Henin-Dementieva tussle in Melbourne. We should have gotten a third set that time, anyway.

Another ghostly name from the past: Anna Chakvetadze. Is she ready to do anything again? She might get Kuznetsova early.

Sleeper: Bartoli

Semifinalist: Henin

 

Fourth Quarter

Recently I made the highly controversial statement that Caroline Wozniacki’s No. 3 ranking was of dubious worth. After all, she followed her runner-up appearance at the U.S. Open with a dreary upset loss in Melbourne. Here’s her chance to prove me wrong. Wozniacki is seeded No. 2, and she has avoided the Belgians. But her draw is the type of test she needs to pass to prove she’s ready to be a permanent part of the uppermost WTA echelon, rather than another temporary visitor. She has the consistency, but does she have the firepower? I know Wozniacki is young, and questioning her staying power at this point isn’t exactly fair, but we’ve got to take our drama where we find it.

Wozniacki may need to out-steady the persistent Maria Kirilenko in the third round, and then hold off the erratic power of Petrova in the fourth. After that, she could be looking at more big hitting from Li Na or Maria Sharapova, or the flat pace of Jie Zheng. I’m guessing Sharapova will find a better form at this tournament. She banked a quick title in Memphis, and while she may be tempted, I don’t think she's ready to cash in her chips for a front-row Lakers ticket quite yet.

First-round match for really hardcore fans of American tennis to watch: Vania King vs. Christina McHale

Semifinalist: Sharapova

Semifinals: Clijsters d. Wickmayer; Henin d. Sharapova

Final: Henin d. Clijsters

Champion: Justine Henin

***

Indian Wells is on the Tennis Channel and Fox Sports full-time this year, from this Saturday onward. See the TV schedule here. You'll also find it full time on this blog starting Friday. I'm heading out that day and will be there until the last ball is hit, or missed, whichever the case may be.


 
63
Comments
 

Posted by Bhai Mirzai 03/10/2010 at 04:42 PM

OK. I do not know, if I agree or disagree with the predictions here. Do not have the feel yet. The top guys have been largely out since the AO --- so it is very difficult to predict.

Posted by Archana 03/10/2010 at 05:23 PM

My pick is Fed VS cilic final and Fed is the winner.

Posted by Freddy 03/10/2010 at 06:07 PM

Poor Cilic! Now we can be sure he is not going even to reach semifinals. Federer is a big questionmark. Was he really seriously ill? His quarter is pretty tough. Is Murray going to continue with practicing for Grand Slams? Did Davidenko recover from the injury? It is known that he can okay lot of matches in row, but also that needs them to get shape. NOvak played seven terrible matches and won them all. What is next? He will either lose one of his next ones or play better. I believe in the second option. He can finally be relaxed, after defending a title for the first time and helping Serbia to beat USA.

Posted by Tfactor 03/10/2010 at 06:47 PM

Thanks for your analysis, Steve.
I pretty much have your same semifinalist with the exception of Davydenko but that's just due to my really hoping Rafa has a good run here.
As much as I would like Cilic to win IW, I don't think it's going to happen. I think it may be either Murray or Djokovic and I believe we may have a surprising finalist in the mix.
As for the girls, I also agree with your picks although I think if Kim and Justine were to meet, Kim would come out victorious.

Anyway, most of all I'm hoping for entertaining and competitive matches all around.
Enjoy your trip and keep us updated :)

Posted by Master Ace 03/10/2010 at 07:15 PM

ATP Predictions
SF: Federer vs Murray and Nadal vs Cilic
F: Murray vs Cilic
W: Murray

WTA Predictions
SF: Clijsters vs Azarenka and Henin vs Sharapova
F: Azarenka vs Henin
W: Henin

Posted by S 03/10/2010 at 08:12 PM

ATP
SM: Fed vs Murray and Nadal vs Cilic
F: Federer vs Nadal
W: Federer in 3 sets

WTA
SF: Clijsters vs. Stosur and Henin vs Li Na
F: Stosur vs Henin
W: Henin

Posted by john smith 03/10/2010 at 08:12 PM

I don't know who will win it but somehow I know Murray won't. He has a tough draw with big gunners. There's nothing he hasn't done before but I'm somehow not convinced by his play so far.

On the other hand, it could be Cilic but only if Djoko goes our before QF. I don't think Fish or Kohlschreiber are good enough to bear Djoko right now. It's true, he has been terrible over the last two weeks... he DFed more than he aced but I think he can only get better. Cilic vs. Djoko would be a nice QF.

Federer is an unknown variable. I wouldn't expect much from him.

Posted by CWATC 03/10/2010 at 08:25 PM

I'm surprised that you have so much confidence in Davydenko considering he's been injured.

Posted by Red 1.7.17.287⁺ = Legacy Solidified 03/10/2010 at 08:32 PM

Dude, I'm going with Drama(Nole)the newbie #2 and he's been winning so.......
Still wont be upset if Cilic takes it.
Go Roger!

Posted by Ray T. 03/10/2010 at 08:36 PM

I'm one of Cilic biggest fan, and even I would not agree that he can win this one yet after his poor display against Melzer in the QF at Dubai. He had a perfect draw all the way to the final and it was Youzhny who ended up there instead. A great result for Marin here would be to finally beat Djokovic in the QF to make him realize that he already belongs in the Top 5 like Delpotro...

Posted by Denis 03/10/2010 at 09:47 PM

Cilic? lol

What are you smoking Tignor?

Posted by corelli 03/10/2010 at 10:51 PM

My predictions:

Men's Final: Federer VS Nadal
Winner: Federer in 2 tight sets

for everyone, don't miss this blog - http://perohn.blogspot.com/

Posted by head tennis racquets 03/11/2010 at 12:25 AM

Indoor Tennis and Outdoor Tennis Difference? I have been playing indoor hard court tennis my whole life, and I have never gone outdoors to play.

Posted by Dinesh 03/11/2010 at 01:08 AM

Looks like the editors and writers at Tennis magazine never seem to learn from past mistakes. There was only one guy (Ed McGrogan) who picked Roger to win the AO and it is now again only one gal (Abigail) who has picked Roger to win Indian Wells. Yes, Roger may not end up winning but it's still absolutely ridiculous that the GOAT gets such little respect. After everything that he has achieved which may never again be achieved by anybody else, we still have only 1 out of 10 so called "tennis experts" picking Roger, which simply boggles the mind. Shouldn't he get at least 50% of the votes automatically every single time just based on what he has achieved? To use a parallel, can anybody imagine Tiger Woods not getting picked as the favorite to win in every tournament he enters? Is it just because Roger is not American? I sure hope not. Nothing would please me more than to see Roger win if for no other reason than to make all these "experts" eat crow.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 03/11/2010 at 01:23 AM

"""
Recently I made the highly controversial statement that Caroline Wozniacki’s No. 3 ranking was of dubious worth.
"""

LOL, Steve. You're not really much of a contrarian, are you?

Posted by sassy 03/11/2010 at 02:45 AM

hmmm...
murray d. federer...
Tignor may be dreaming...!!!

Posted by Fast Flow 03/11/2010 at 03:27 AM

Looks like the editors and writers at Tennis magazine never seem to learn from past mistakes. There was only one guy (Ed McGrogan) who picked Roger to win the AO and it is now again only one gal (Abigail) who has picked Roger to win Indian Wells. Yes, Roger may not end up winning but it's still absolutely ridiculous that the GOAT gets such little respect. After everything that he has achieved which may never again be achieved by anybody else, we still have only 1 out of 10 so called "tennis experts" picking Roger, which simply boggles the mind. Shouldn't he get at least 50% of the votes automatically every single time just based on what he has achieved? To use a parallel, can anybody imagine Tiger Woods not getting picked as the favorite to win in every tournament he enters? Is it just because Roger is not American? I sure hope not. Nothing would please me more than to see Roger win if for no other reason than to make all these "experts" eat crow. Thank you Dinesh. I agree and Federer will win!!!!!!

Posted by Fast Flow 03/11/2010 at 03:28 AM

Looks like the editors and writers at Tennis magazine never seem to learn from past mistakes. There was only one guy (Ed McGrogan) who picked Roger to win the AO and it is now again only one gal (Abigail) who has picked Roger to win Indian Wells. Yes, Roger may not end up winning but it's still absolutely ridiculous that the GOAT gets such little respect. After everything that he has achieved which may never again be achieved by anybody else, we still have only 1 out of 10 so called "tennis experts" picking Roger, which simply boggles the mind. Shouldn't he get at least 50% of the votes automatically every single time just based on what he has achieved? To use a parallel, can anybody imagine Tiger Woods not getting picked as the favorite to win in every tournament he enters? Is it just because Roger is not American? I sure hope not. Nothing would please me more than to see Roger win if for no other reason than to make all these "experts" eat crow. Thank you Dinesh!!!

Posted by Fast Flow 03/11/2010 at 03:29 AM

Nothing would please me more than to see Roger win if for no other reason than to make all these "experts" eat crow. Thank you Dinesh!!!

Posted by JJ Smith 03/11/2010 at 03:32 AM

Federer is practicing with Sampras at his house getting ready for Hit for Hati!!!

Posted by G Easton 03/11/2010 at 05:51 AM

As a Brit rooting for Murray all the way. He has a point to prove, points to defend, this is a good warm up for Miami, and unlike Federer or Nadal hes not comining back from major injury.

And lets face some facts: Nadal hasnt shown anything near the same level of performance that took him to #1 since he came back from injury. As for Federer hes not really interested in these tournaments when compared to the majors. Yes it would be nice but I dont think hes going to care as much if this was the US Open.

Im thinking a Murray/Djoko final since its been a while since they met with major points and a major tourny at stake.

Posted by md 03/11/2010 at 07:07 AM

Steve

whilst I very much enjoy these predictions I would like some detail as to why you think a particular player is going to win the semi or the final - I know you cover some of those points in the previous text, but some analysis for those matches would be appreciated too. A very minor quibble though. Keep up the good work. You are always very readable.

Posted by Master Ace 03/11/2010 at 08:01 AM

Fastflow,
As you know Roger does not give away his "secrets" during the tour and based on that I do not expect him to win Indian Wells but if he did, I would not be shocked at all.

Posted by Murphy 03/11/2010 at 08:06 AM

Just as long as it isn't RF, right Steve ? Look the guy is a marvel, works hard and deserves everything he gets. Too bad that the others are playing in his era but until he retires i hope he wins 25 slams.

Posted by Queeny 03/11/2010 at 08:40 AM

Federer practising at IW...


"Roger looked extremely sharp as his footwork was impeccable and he effortlessly blasted his forehand to desired locations all over the court. He was consistently and effectively driving his backhand and after being pulled off the court a few times, he took his backhand down the line for would-be winners. This was one of the better hitting sessions I have witnessed from Roger in terms of accuracy and power. He appears healthy, relaxed, has a nice spring in his step, and determined to claim his second title of the year."

Posted by tennisfan#1 03/11/2010 at 09:38 AM

ATP Predictions:
SF1
Federer def. Ferrer
SF2
Djokovic def. Querry
Final
Federer def. Djokovic

Posted by tina (ajde, Marine!) 03/11/2010 at 11:10 AM

Maybe Cilic isn't quite ready for a Slam - but it's about that time in his career for him to win a title people actually notice. Though I wouldn't be at all unhappy if world #2 took home the trophy, either.

Posted by river 03/11/2010 at 11:12 AM

i don't understand the big fascination with murray anyway.. he is a choker of the heighest order and davydenko's winning streak against nadal will end this tournament.

Posted by tennisfan#1 03/11/2010 at 11:39 AM

River,

I do not think Nadal is going to make it to Davydenko. Querry is going to take him out in the 4th round. Cheers.

Posted by Tigress (basking in Sweet 16) 03/11/2010 at 12:10 PM

Yaaay! Steve picks Fed to lose to Murray in SF. Now i can relax! Masters record-tying #17 coming up next week for Roger, over Davydenko in Finals. Thanks, Steve.

Posted by linex 03/11/2010 at 12:19 PM

I have the same winner as Steve in my Draw Challenge only that my semifinalists are different I have Roger vs Murray and Nadal vs. Cilic. The final Cilic v. Roger.

Posted by tennisfan#1 03/11/2010 at 01:34 PM

linex,

It takes a brave man to put Nadal in the semifinals. Cheers.

Posted by Master Ace 03/11/2010 at 01:49 PM

Linex,
Your IW final was my final at AO. This time I have Murray vs Cilic with Murray winning.

Posted by Master Ace 03/11/2010 at 01:50 PM

Tennisfan#1,
Nadal draw is very favorable for him so he won't be taxed when he gets to the QF.

Posted by Mr Rick 03/11/2010 at 02:27 PM

I'd love to see a Federer-Nadal final.

The only one who could keep Rafa out of it is Davydenko. Then it would be a Federer-Davydenko final.

I just don't see Cilic winning a big ATP title yet.

Posted by TypePad 03/11/2010 at 02:58 PM

Shakira called and said she wanted to do a follow up video, this time under water with Nadal wearing only a speedy, before his bald spot becomes too difficult to conceal. So expect him to retire in the second round with a bad case of pollen allergies.

Posted by Cloud13 03/11/2010 at 04:44 PM

Djokovic is determined to prove that he doesn't quit in the big matches. He did it at AO but lost. Now he wants to do it -- and win. http://bit.ly/aarmY3

Posted by MZK 03/11/2010 at 05:09 PM

Wow, so much disrespect for Federer from Steve! He predicted Murray would beat him in the semis - you know, kind of like what happened last year. How unfair and implausible! Why can't every single tennis article explicitly declare 'Federer is the greatest of all time' lest anybody forget his achievements?

Does this site draw the world's most insecure and bratty Fed fans or what?

Posted by embug 03/11/2010 at 05:19 PM

WOW ... Marin Cilic, huh! Could be, might be. Wish I was going, but not this year. Miami, though!!!

Would love to see Marin win this. He is ready. Justine has been ready, since the day she retired.

Love the part about the Williams' sisters giving them - those others, like on Lost - their 15 days of fame.

Have fun!

Posted by Andrew Broad 03/11/2010 at 05:30 PM

Anna Chakvetadze "might get Kuznetsova early"? They could only meet in the final!

Posted by Ray T. 03/11/2010 at 08:22 PM

Congratulations to Mario Ancic for his first ATP win today after being again sidelined by mono since May 2009. He made it back to #24 in 2008 and I hope he can somehow repeat it this year being down to #694...what a shame for one the finest player out there.

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 03/11/2010 at 08:31 PM

Steve,

What you've written about Davydenko is spot on, IMO: "His efficient blend of offense and defense was designed for the slow-court era—it may even be the first pure product of it...".

Posted by Holly 03/11/2010 at 09:19 PM

Steve....where's the Rafa love??

You're going to be surprised!

Posted by Simoneta 03/12/2010 at 03:10 AM

Hey Steve Tignor, here is Roger with that "Smug" Banner that you hate so much. lol

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b199/krist1124/IW10/Thu_0311/kristIW10_0311_1.jpg

Posted by Arwen 03/12/2010 at 03:20 AM

Final:

Fed vs rafa
rafa wins in three sets.

Posted by Arwen 03/12/2010 at 03:20 AM

Final:

Fed vs rafa
rafa wins in three sets.

Posted by Arwen 03/12/2010 at 03:20 AM

Final:

Fed vs rafa
rafa wins in three sets.

Posted by hen 03/12/2010 at 05:40 AM

Dear Mr.Tignor, have you heard that Davydenko has a wrist injury which took him out of Dubai and prevented him from playing DC matches? This injury is still there. What makes you think that an injured 29-year old playing on a slow surface (which he hates whatever you may think about it) in a windy weather (which he hates even more) would beat on-fire Verdasco and Nadal?

Posted by anthonies 03/12/2010 at 06:58 AM

steve, i appreciate ur prediction upto the semis

Posted by Bhai Mirzai 03/12/2010 at 12:14 PM

Steve, you wrote about Cilic: "... he has the contemporary, no-glaring-weakness, no-spectacular-weapon ..."

Such a player wins if a player with big weapns has an off day.

I think that Marin needs a big weapon (a big flat forehand similar to JMDP!) to be able to win.

I have a feeling that Fed will take this one, even though this is a slow court.

Posted by Liz (4 Federer & Serena - 4 ever!) 03/12/2010 at 12:55 PM

Steve

I really don't want what you're smoking. Its positively suicide to pick against Federer and Nadal. I predict we're going to have our first Fed / Nadal final in the desert.

Rafa is through w/his rehab. I saw him running after Shakira in her video, LOL. I predict Rafa will still want to prove to people that he still is a tennis player--stay turned!

Roger will come in wanting to prove he's still got it just like he proved it to us in Oz.

Posted by hope my post gets posted 03/12/2010 at 03:04 PM

Fast Flow

Roger hasnt been that good in masters series events, in fact, the past two years he has won just 2 masters shields, not close to nadal, murray or djoker.

I understand the logic the tennis experts take on account to make their predictions,however peters bodo prediction is just stupid, why wont you make a real pick? Lately I being thinking more of you as a funny guy than a real sports columnist. Dont get me wrong I love some of your past issues, we need vintage bodo back, stop the nonesense blogs(asterisk on rogers french open.cmon) and picks.


Posted by tennisfan#1 03/12/2010 at 03:36 PM

Liz,

Nadal is not making the final. Cheers.

Posted by TILDEN'S GHOST 03/12/2010 at 08:14 PM

I see the lovely and delightful Feleciano Lopez finally achieving the breakout performance we've all expected for so long. He'll not lose a set and defeat Mario Ancic in the final 6-0,0-6,6-0. On the ladies side I see Zvonereva having her all-time greatest meltdown. She'll shock the world (but not tennis fans) by committing suicide during the final. Sweet Caroline Wozniacki takes it 0-6,7-5,5-0 ret. All other picks are pure mind gibberish from constipated fools. Pay them no mind and put the big bucks on my choices. Then after you've lost it all join Vera in purgatory. Ciao!

Posted by thooz 03/12/2010 at 08:43 PM

It will be interesting to see how rusty Federer is after his illness. But if he can get a couple of matches under his belt, there's no reason to think he can't win this dinky little tournament.

Posted by Freddy 03/13/2010 at 06:43 AM

So, Justin is not in any more, she is Just out. I hope Cilic is going to survive second round. Destiny of Steve's picks.

Posted by Denis 03/13/2010 at 08:30 PM

Cilic will get out of Novaks quarter?

NO!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Ray T. 03/13/2010 at 08:58 PM

The curse of Steve Tignor strikes again !

Both predicted winners gone in the 2nd round...another proof that this incompetent blogger's material is nothing but hype and that he doesn't scrutinize the players' most recent form and results whatsoever: EPIC FAIL !

Posted by Denis 03/13/2010 at 09:12 PM

Steve Tignor= Retard

Posted by Matt 03/13/2010 at 09:39 PM

Cilic and Henin both out on their debuts, haha EPIC!!!!!

Posted by terry 03/14/2010 at 07:03 AM

oh the humanity, i feel for Steve, how can someone in a position of authority be so wrong all the time

Posted by sportsfan10 03/14/2010 at 04:03 PM

Your calls really...really...really suck. Cilic and Henin??? Any thoughts on Healthcare?

Posted by Thomas 03/16/2010 at 05:26 AM

After the women's 3rd round, 3 out of 4 'semifinalists' are out (Henin, Sharapova, Clijsters), with only Wickmayer left...

Better luck in your Miami predictions Steve ;-)


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