Thursday, May 17, 2007

TMS Hamburg - Quarterfinal Preview

by Craig Hickman

[1] Roger Federer (SUI) vs. [8]David Ferrer (ESP)
The last time these two met, Roger trounced the Spaniard. After that match I wrote, "Fuck belief. David Ferrer needs to go out and buy some topspin and some length of shot. Not to mention a serve. It was a shellacking, featuring the day's second serving of bagel. And Roger is still in that mood. Even his 500th career victory couldn't bring a smile to his face." As I suspected, Roger cruised over the weaponless Juan Carlos Ferrero today. He'll do the same against another Spaniard tomorrow. Roger in straight sets.

[4]Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Carlos Moya (ESP)
Novak played virtually two matches yesterday due to rain delays. He took a few of his now infamous injury timeouts in his second-match-of-the-day "victory" over Jarkko Nieminen, also plalying his seond match of the day. They worked. The Finn couldn't hold on late in the third set to fend off the current flavor of the moment. These two have only played once with the Djoke winning in straight sets last year in Croatia. But given his double duty yesterday, I'll call the odds even. And I hope the veteran Spaniard can pull out the win.

Nicolas Almagro (ESP) vs Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
No one saw this quarterfinal coming. Almagro had to see off compatriot and defending champ, Tommy Robredo, in the fist round and always-dangerous Jose Acasuso in the second. The Spaniard benefitted from the fat the Argentine was playing his second match of the day after finishing off Roger Beater Filippo Volandri in the first. Hewitt notched two good wins over Argentines Agustin Calleri and red-hot Juan Ignacio Chela. Playing a better, more in-form person than himself, the Aussie also benefitted from a fatigued opponent who had to finish off Gilles Simon of france earlier in the day. If Hewitt can get in the youngster's head, the match is his. If he can't, the match belongs to the Spaniard. Pick 'em.

[2]Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs [5]Fernando Gonzalez (ARG)
The undisputed King of Clay takes on the Rome finalist Fernando Gonzelez in the quarters at the German Open. Rafa waxed Gonzo last Sunday. Because this isn't a final, I'd expect the Chilean to post a bigger theat agains the freight train. But since he played two matches today because of the rain yesterday, this is Rafa's match to lose. As is every other match the Spaniard plays on clay this season. Gonzo might get a set, but that's only if he takes the first one. Otherwise, expect Rafa to advance routinely to his first TMS Hamburg semifinal.

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