Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday Montreal Match Analysis

Frank Dancevic over Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
I thought this match was a toss-up going in as bother players were playing well; Dancevic shockingly reached the finals in L.A. and Verdasco had solid performances in Stuttgart and Kitzbuhel and then won a Challenger event last week. I gave the slight edge to the Spaniard because I thought Dancevic might wilt under the pressure of playing for the Canadian crowd. But alas, Dancevic rose to the occasion and thrilled the fans with a three-set victory, continuing his surprising summer run. It was nice to see him show so much emotion at the end; you could tell it meant a lot, a lot more than it would have to Verdasco if he had prevailed.

Novak Djokovic over David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3
Behind Federer it looks like a trio of Nadal, Roddick, and Djokovic has separated itself from the rest of the pack, at least on hard courts. Both Roddick and Djokovic made a case for being Federer's main challenge on the hard stuff, as Roddick also enjoyed a relatively easy win (over Baghdatis). Nalbandian hasn't been playing well, but still this is impressive. Next round is Djokovic vs. Roddick; what a blockbuster that will be.

Lleyton Hewitt over Dominik Hrbaty 6-7 (12-10), 7-6 (8-6), 7-5
Mental toughness must have been the deciding factor in this thriller, and Hewitt is second to none in that department. He saved two match points in the second set before coming back from a break down twice in the third set (of course breaks were almost as common as holds in this one so that isn't too surprising). I am surprised by how close Hrbaty made this match. He hasn't exactly been lighting it up on tour in 2007. Unfortunately I didn't see this match, as I would like to know whether or not Hrbaty is suddenly playing good tennis or if Hewitt is struggling a bit.

Rafael Nadal over Paul-Henrti Mathieu 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Mathieu had Nadal on the ropes, but like Hewitt, Nadal is almost impossible to put away and he stormed back in the second and third sets. Mathieu is one of the hottest players on tour right now so it's not like people should question why Nadal was extended to three sets; actually this is a solid win for Nadal. He played well - not incredibly - and his forehand broke down somewhat, but Nadal still has to like where he's at heading into the Open, especially if he reaches the final and plays Federer close.

No comments: