In my last post, I was kind of pondering and lamenting the state of grass-court tennis, but I have to admit, the quarterfinal lineup at the Artois Championships is pretty amazing for any tennis fan, even if there is guys in it that would've never been there 10 years ago! This could easily be the quarterfinal lineup at Wimbledon, sans Federer, who's playing over in Halle.
Since it looks like it's worthy of a Slam, I thought I'd do a quick breakdown of the matches:
Rafael Nadal vs. Ivo Karlovic: These two have played once before, years ago on carpet, and Rafa won. It's real tempting to go with Karlovic for the upset, but I think Ivo's lefty serve won't hurt fellow lefty Nadal as much, so I'm going with Rafa. Karlovic is gonna be seeing a lot of balls at his shoestrings in this one.
Andy Roddick vs. Andy Murray: I personally feel that after Roger Federer, these two are the most gifted grass-court players on the tour. It's a battle between one of the best servers and returners, and only one can come through! I'm going with Andy in this one. : )
Richard Gasquet vs. David Nalbandian: Another battle between great grass-court players. Gasquet seems to be in pretty decent form mentally. It seems that coaching change has already had a big impact on him. Nalbandian knocked off a good grasser (my new word for 'grass-court player') the round before in Nicolas Mahut, but the buck should stop here.
Lleyton Hewitt vs. Novak Djokovic: Hewitt's actually playing pretty decently, as seen by his run at the French after not playing for weeks, and he really loves this place, having racked up the titles. However, I think Djokovic might be a little too solid for Hewitt, so I'm going with Djokovic in this one.
It should be a good one, nonetheless, as will all the other matches here.
(And I'm not gonna cop out in the battle of Andys! It's a tough call: My heart and head says Roddick, So A-Rod it is.)
(Photo: Getty Images)
5 months ago