There were a few news stories coming out of Madrid Masters yesterday. One funny one was how Tomic decided to try to defend match point with his handle first against Fognini. He had obviously already given up the match. It was possibly just one of those days where it felt as easy (read: difficult) to play tennis with a baseball bat as a tennis racquet.
The big news story however was how Del Potro won his biggest match since his long injury lay-off, beating Thiem 7-6 6-3. It was obvious how much a win like that meant to him when he roared like a lion after match point and shed a few tears in the chair afterwards.
It will be interesting to see how he continues, since a win like that can different shapes. Either you get mentally tired after the elation of such a victory, or you build on it. The big players always build on it, so let’s hope “Delpo” finds a way to do that.
Personally, I’ve always enjoyed watching Verdasco hit a forehand. It’s an aesthetically pleasing shot that packs a lot of power. He just won his first ATP title in a few years at the ATP 250 BRD Nastase Tiriac a week ago and yesterday it looked like he had the confidence to beat Gasquet. But possibly due to mental or physical tiredness, he faded away in the third set.
Another match that raised a few eyebrows was Murray vs Stepanek. Stepanek is the resident oldie but goldie on the ATP tour, playing well at 37 years of age. He didn’t look old during the first two sets against Murray and despite losing the first set 6-7 (he was up a break early on), he won the second set 6-3 and looked pumped while Murray was back to his usual moaning. But in the third set Murray tightened his game and showed why he’s ranked the way he is.
There are lots of interesting matches today at the Madrid Masters:
Wawrinka vs Kyrgios (H2H 2-1)
Is this still a hate-filled match-up after the “banged-your-girlfriend-comment?” or is it water under the bridge? No matter what – Great match-up! Wawrinka doesn’t have a confident season so far, while Kyrgios looks more focused than ever. I actually think Kyrgios will win this.
Fognini vs Nishikori (H2H 0-1)
If Fognini is in good form, this is a possible upset. Depends a bit on Nishikori’s physical condition.
Simon vs Carreno (H2H 0-2)
Carreno beat Dimitrov and reached the final in Estoril. He’s my favorite against Simon.
Djokovic vs Coric (H2H 0-0)
Coric played a brilliant first round where he trashed Almagro. How is Djokovic feeling? Will be a tough start for him no matter what.
Cuevas vs Monfils (H2H 0-3)
Cuevas is a very good clay court player, but Monfils is in the form of his life (?).
Del Potro vs Sock (H2H 0-0)
Can Del Potro sustain his good form against another massive forehand?