Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lawn jockeying

The promoters of the Artois Championships must be thinking this is the perfect 30th anniversary gift with the matches they'll end up with over the last three rounds! With that quarterfinal lineup having been such a monster, of course you're going to get the same for the semis! Here's my little rundown of what I think will happen there:

David Nalbandian vs. Novak Djokovic: Nalbandian came through in a tough third-set tiebreak against Richard Gasquet. With Nalbandian, you never know if this is going to be one of those tournaments where he's just knocking off guys ahead of him in the rankings left and right. However, I don't think that'll be the case this time, and I'm going with Djoko in straights.

Andy Roddick vs. Rafael Nadal: Rafa survived a ton of heat coming at him by beating Ivo Karlovic, and he can expect more coming from A-Rod. Much like Roland Garros is Nadal's personal playpen, I think the same applies to Roddick at Queens. A-Rod in three.

Oh yeah, there's another big grass-court tournament going on in Germany, where some guy named Roger Federer is playing. He's through to the semis against homeboy Nic Kiefer, and James Blake is playing Tennis Talk, Anyone? fave Philipp Kohlschreiber, also a local boy done good. I think it'll be an R-Fed-JB final come Sunday there.

And the DFS Classic in Birmingham has an interesting player there making a little run: American Bethanie Mattek is making a nice run. It's nice to see her calling attention to herself with her play and not her silly outfits! I think she has a great shot to make her first career singles final. I'm sure there's an outfit in the closet waiting for that moment!

(Photos: Getty Images)


Shelia said...

Good Morning Van!

I'm not a big Djokovic fan, but I certainly respect his game. However, I'm hoping that Nalbandian is in the zone, because he has a nasty little habit of bringing down whomever is expected to win. And I love it!!

van said...

Hey Sheila!

I guess this wasn't an in-the-zone moment for Nalbandian as Djokovic destroyed him. It's so wild that you never know which DN is going to show up. With his versatility, he could've been a legit number 2, but I think it's too late for that now.

But as I say that, he might sneak up on us all and win Wimbledon! You just never know.

hcfoo said...

Hi Van!

I think the top guys in the ATP are going to dominate the lawn surfaces.

But my focus will be at the Artois Championships. We'll see who has a slight better chance, Djokovic or Nadal, before Wimbledon starts.

van said...

Hey HCFoo. How about that Nadal? I really didn't think a grass-court title was in the cards for him anytime soon, but I guess he showed me! I thought those courts at Wimbledon just suited his game, but to win elsewhere shows he has the goods.

It could be another R-Fed/Rafa final at the big W!