Category Archives: Players in Top 100

Haas delivers

Tommy Haas fought back from a set down to beat Ivo Karlovic 4-6 7-6 6-4 in the Montreal Masters first round.

The German lost the first set after being broken early on however he managed to force the second into a tie break which he won 7-3.

He then took the deciding set 6-4 converting one of his three chances to break Karlovic.

As predicted the 6’10 giant could not repeat his scintilating Wimbledon form with his first serve percentage for the match down at 49 percent.

This match tip was provided by Pinewood who writes for our new sister site The Betting Battle.

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Karlovic loss saves me 250 big ones

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There was no-one happier than me that Roger Federer defeated Ivo Karlovic in straight sets earlier today.

One of my friends is a massive Karlovic supporter and two years ago I bet him £250 that Big Ivo would not reach a grand slam semi final in his career and my goodness, he came a little bit too close to achieving this feat for my liking.

Federer, who has reached his 21st consequtive grand slam semi final, thankfully tamed the big serving Croatian in style breaking him twice with relevant ease.

Breaking the 6’10 giant was particularly significant as he had not been broken in a match since he arrived in England for the grass court season a month ago!

It’s not that I’m not a fan of the Croatian, in fact I love watching him hit aces past everyone, it’s just that if a rally develops he will lose the point 8 times of out 10.

I generally thought he had a chance against Federer today however the Swiss master picked off his massive serves brilliantly. This was seriously a returning clinic and a pleasure to watch from the five-time Wimbledon champion.

But Karlovic will be very pleased with his overall performance at Wimbledon as he has made his first ever quarter final appearance in a grand slam taking out two top ten players along the way in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Fernando Verdasco.

If you have been won over by the Croatian giant’s massive serve and dodgy ground strokes join this Facebook group – ‘Ivo Karlovic – The King of Tennis’.

In depth analysis – Nicolas Almagro vs Karol Beck

Wimbledon second round match analysis – Nicolas Almagro vs Karol Beck

By Amir Mehrad, the newest addition to the Tennis Centre writing team.

On paper, this looked to be fairly straight forward encounter for Nicolas Almagro.

Ranked 95 places higher than what turned out to be a formidable opponent in Karol Beck, he arrived on court first and looked ready to progress. That looked the case from early on, as he used his powerful forehand to devastating effect.

Rallies were scarce in the first set as both players struggled to come to terms with each others high percentage of first serves which were proving critical to each game. However, the world number 48 and clay court specialist Nicolas Almagro finally got the break he desired and took the first set with relative ease 6-4.
 
Beck, who dropped to a ranking of 927 in the world after a two year drug ban in 2005, seemed somewhat dejected as he failed to make any real impact in the second set especially on Almagro service games, and even though it was tight there only seemed to be one outcome as the Spaniard took the set 7-6 (7-2).

While the crowd assumed the match was a formality from here on, Beck most certainly did not and looked to turn the contest around by upping his level and introducing a more skilful approach to his game in the third set. He hit the ball flatter and with more slice which didn’t allow Almagro as much time to get his forehand into play which had been so effective in the first two sets. 

The Slovakian also started to hit a number of clever drop shots throughout the games which caught the Spanish number 8 off-guard. This gave him a lift and through determination, skill and adaption and a little help from Almagro’s ongoing argument with the umpire, Beck managed to take the next two sets 6/3 6/4.
 
Moving into the fifth Beck was full of confidence as he had steam rolled through the third and fourth sets and an almost impossible comeback was now very much on. However Almagro started to improve causing the world number 148 to tense up which was seen early on in the contest and the momentum switched once again. Almagro’s class and superior fitness levels  shone through and after a gruelling five set match, Almagro finally took the victory to a standing ovation. A truly entertaining match.

Federer survives

federer celebratingTwo sets down.

Serving at 3-4 in the third set.

30-40.

This was the perilous position Roger Federer found himself in yesterday against Tommy Haas who had been bossing the match.

This break point seemed like a virtual match point for Haas as he had been serving like Karlovic and Federer had been really struggling to make any sort of impact when returning.

Federer missed his first serve and nervously spun in his second and I think at this point everyone around the world watching this match was biting their finger nails off.

A short rally commensed before Federer, flirting with destruction, attempted a low percentage inside out forehand.

He slapped the ball as hard as he could in a desperate attempt to win the point as Haas has been playing unrealistically well.

In a heart in mouth moment the ball flew over the net seemingly in slow motion and caught the very outside edge of the line and from this point forward the match completely turned.

Federer held his serve, broke Haas in the next game, took the set 6-4 and then the German crumbled winning just two more games in the contest.

I wasn’t surprised Haas lost his way because after coming so close to serving for the match his confidence was bound to drop significantly.

Something that amazed me in this match was the fact that Federer did not drop a point on serve for the first SEVEN games.

Haas is surely the first man to win a set having not managed to rack up a single returning point leading up to the first set tie break.

Read the full match report on the ATP website here.

Here are the results from my TIPS yesterday…

Tommy Hass vs Roger Federer I said Federer win 3-0 // Actual resultFederer win 3-2

Tommy Robredo vs Philipp KohlschreiberI saidRobredo win 3-2 // Actual resultRobredo win 3-1

Juan Martin Del Potro vs Jo Wilfried Tsonga I said – Del Potro win 3-1 // Actual result Del Potro win 3-1

Gael Monfils vs Andy RoddickI said Monfils win 3-2 // Actual result Monfils win 3-0

Nadal makes shock exit

NADALI always find myself moaning about how the supposed best women players always seem to lose in the early rounds of grand slams, however at the French Open this year it has been the men who have suffered.

Two of the ‘big four’ have lost before the quarter finals and I am truly shocked in the fashion they have bowed out.

A friend text me after the Nadal match claiming he thought the result was predictable which is ridiculous. Nadal’s loss to Soderling is simply unbelievable considering he hasn’t lost a set at the French Open since the 2007 final and the Spaniard really looked second rate today.

He did not hit with enough length throughout the match and Soderling punished this fact.

From start to finish the Swede hit every ball as hard as he could which worked perfectly as Nadal surprisingly couldn’t cope with the power he was generating.

I and everybody else watching this match thought that Soderling would have a dip sooner or later and Nadal would then gain control but it just never came. Take a look at Nadal’s demise here.

My immediate thought is that Nadal’s schedule has been too rigorous this year considering he has been to the final of every tournament he has played coming into the French. However he shot down this type of suggestion from journalists in his press conference but I reckon deep down he knows he is physically and mentally tired.

By the way I thought Nadal’s French Open attire was quality. Check out my review.

On the Djokovic front I have no idea how he managed to lose in straight sets to Kohlschreiber. Don’t get me wrong, the German is a masterful player on his day but his performances fluctuate so much it’s untrue.

I would put a hefty amount of money on whoever ‘Kohly’ is playing next because despite his immense talent, he is always liable to play like a complete donkey.

For example at the Australian Open earlier in the year he started with a decent straight sets win over Sam Querrey and then got himself into a right mess against old boy Fabrice Santoro losing in five.

Australian Open Review :: Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco was the surprise package of the Australian Open and I am now wondering if he can follow up this performance in the coming year.

How many players do you see who have a brilliant run in  a big tournament and then fail to bring their best form to any other event afterwards.

For example Kohlschrieber, Nieminen and Tipsarevic in the 2008 Australian Open and how about Rainer Scheuttler and Arnaud Clement at last year’s Wimbledon. 

The Spaniard, despite being a top 30 player for the last four years, has never really lit any tournament alight with only two singles titles in his career.  Two. 

The other surprising fact is that the last of his title wins came in 2004 in Valencia so to summarise he is currently ranked ninth in the world and hasn’t won a title for five years.

The one thing to Verdasco’s credit that I have noticed through looking at his results is that has delivered consistent performances reaching the last 16 and quarter finals in a number of events throughout his time on the professional circuit.

He played quite simply unbelievable tennis in Australia to beat Tsonga and Murray and then he came so close to upsetting Nadal. His shot making was at a level I had not seen before and against Nadal, although he fired around double the amount of winners, his legs would carry him no more and the more resilient (hacker!) Nadal prevailed.

For me Nadal was always going to win the final as he now has Federer’s number. The main fact being that Federer has a definite weakness in the backhand side and Nadal exploits it brilliantly. 

Federer wants to be known as the best player ever and he needs to win two more grand slam titles to prove this and I have my doubts as whether he will achieve this goal.

Introducing the ‘David Cup’

A very interesting article appeared on The Tennis Times website recently. It featured Juan Martin Del Potro and David Nalbandian commenting on the venue of the Davis Cup final.

Take a look at the headline and then check out the picture of Juan Monaco which was strangely used to accompany the story!

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 Credit for this spot goes to a member of the Talk Tennis forum who goes by the name of ‘Love Game’.

The picture has now been removed on the website however the headline typo still remains in all its glory.