Tag Archives: Del Potro

Sky Sports tennis coverage – brilliant

On my Facebook information page I have listed ‘tennis on sky sports’ as one of my favourite TV shows.

At university my house mates and I often found ourselves glued to the tv screen watching an epic ATP tour match.

We were very much involved in the tennis gambling scene and there were some very entertaining moments when bets were going well or badly.

For instance I particularly remember when fellow Tennis Centre writer Andrew Johnson lumped £50 on Rafael Nadal when he was a set down to David Nalbandian.

I however had identified this match as a potential banana skin for Nadal and had backed Nalbandian at a massive starting price of 7/1.

Nadal was simply awful throughtout the contest and Andrew was furious with the Spaniard’s lackluster performance.

Items went flying around the room as he shouted at the TV that he would never bet on tennis again while I performed a ‘slide on knees’ celebration across the wooden flooring as the Argentine cruised to a 61 62 victory.

Although we have had many disagreements about who is going to win a match we both agree on one thing; the Sky Sports studio and commentary team are first class.

Presenter Marcus Buckland along with Mark Petchey, Barry Cowan, Barry Millns and Leif Sharas always provide lively commentary and insight with their tongue in cheek humour often making me chuckle.

Mark Petchey in particular is a truely gifted commentator who makes it look easy when it’s not. 

One of my favourite quotes during commentary is Petchey’s decription of Igor Andreev in a recent match. He said: “When his A game isn’t working that’s where his alphabet stops.” What a comment!

Another stand out moment for me was when Buckland and Petchey were discussing an upcoming match between Nadal and Del Potro.

A graphic came up on the screen listing a number of attributes and Petchey had to decide who was better in each department e.g forehand, backhand, serve, speed etc.

My friends and I cracked up as he said Nadal was better at everything and that it would be a very one sided match.

However Petchey didn’t write off Del Potro completely. He cheekily gave him one thing in his favour –  the ‘underdogs advantage’!

Thankfully for Petchey, his pre match analysis was proved right as Nadal comfortably defeated the Argentine in two sets.

Match Tipping – French Open – 05/06/09

Semi Finals

Robin Soderling vs Fernando Gonzalez

My immediate thoughts are that Soderling will lose this match just like I thought he would lose against Ferrer, Nadal and Davydenko. From time to time top 30 players go on unbelievable runs where they play at their absolute optimum level and this is currently happening to Soderling. I think this match will be close but I have to give the edge to the Swede as something has clearly clicked for him over the last two weeks.

Gonzo beat Murray in the last round which looks like a good win but really the Scot isn’t anywhere near the force he is on hard courts. The Chilean has a tendency to be on fire for a set and then drop off for the next and if this happens he will be in all sorts of difficulty. He needs to be pumped up to play well and Soderling may not let him play the massive forehands which allow him to build momentum. 

Prediction – Soderling win 3-2

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Roger Federer vs Juan Martin Del Potro

Del Potro has been playing well this tournament but I wouldn’t say he has come up against any particularly testing competition. Igor Andreev hasn’t been on good from as of late, Tsonga is a hard court player and Robredo doesn’t hit hard enough to trouble the top players. That said I feel the Argentine has a chance today as he must be feeling really confident.

Federer hasn’t been at his best but at times during matches he really excels and proves just why he was number one in the world for so long. For me he is a clear favourite here and I would be surprised if he didn’t advance to the final. Federer has spent longer on court than Del Potro but I think this counts in the Swiss master’s favour as he must be nicely tuned up.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Del Potro came out firing on all cylinders and won the first set. After that though, Federer should take the next three and win comfortably.

Prediction – Federer win 3-1

Match Tipping – French Open – 01/06/09

Tommy Robredo vs Philipp Kohlschreiber

Oh dear. This is a massively tough match to call. I wrote in a previous post that I would put a considerable amount of money on whoever Kohlschreiber was playing due to his erratic tendencies.

Having now seen he is playing Tommy Robredo I am certainly not so confident.

This is a match the German should win in my opinion and that is precisely the reason why I am going to pick Robredo to advance to the next round.

Kohlschreiber had nothing to lose against against Djokovic and was able to play without a hint of pressure. This match will be a different kettle of fish and he will have a degree of expectation on his shoulders which could effect his play.

This match has five set thriller written all over it and I reckon Kohlschreiber will bottle it.

Robredo win 3-2

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Tommy Haas vs Roger Federer

Federer should stroll this match against the aging Haas. I think the first set will be competitive however after that Federer will dominate.

Federer win 3-0

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Juan Martin Del Potro vs Jo Wilfried Tsonga

On any other surface I would have no doubt in my mind that Tsonga would have a great chance of winning.

However clay courts do not suit his gung ho type of play as we have seen from his mediocre results as of late.

Personally I am not a fan of Del Potro but he has chalked up a few good results on the surface.

Like Tsonga he is not the greatest on clay either but his comfortable win against a ‘proper dirtballer’ in Andreev the previous round makes me side with the lanky Argentine.

Del Potro win 3-1

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Gael Monfils vs Andy Roddick

Monfils should get the better of Roddick on this surface however the Frenchman always seems to make life difficult for himself.

Roddick is a fighter and now he has come this far into the draw I am sure he will have been working on a plan to disappoint the French crowd by knocking their favourite player out.

Roddick will need to serve well to keep Monfils at bay.

And if Monfils fails to get into the Roddick service games he may lose confidence and go on the defensive which would allow Roddick to start dictating points.

If this happens we could be in for a long match however Monfils will eventually scrape the win by grinding down the American.

Plus Monfils has points to defend here which is an added incentive for him.

Monfils win 3-2

Match Prediction 28/03 Sony Ericsson Open

 Round of 64

 Novak Djokovic SRB (3) – Kevin Anderson RSA (122)

I may be the only person to say this but I think a possible upset could be on the cards.  Djokovic will without a doubt not be 100 percent going into this match which gives every chance to the rising star from South Africa. As I say every week winners of tournaments the week before do not have sufficient recovery time and although Djokovic is of a different class to Anderson, fatigue could beat him here. Anderson was runner up in Las Vegas in early March playing seven matches to get there and eventually lost to Sam Querrey in three sets. This shows he has a bit of quality and stamina at the top level. Do not get me wrong, this match is not going to be 61 62 whitewash but Anderson may be able to steal a victory in three sets as Djokovic tires.

 Predicted Winner :: Anderson

 Richard Gasquet FRA (8) – Dmitry Tursunov RUS (35)

The head to head for this year stands at 1-1 and this match could go either way. The stylish Frenchman is one of my favourite players but he can suffer lapses of concentration and go into his shell when losing. Tursunov’s ‘go for broke’ power game is very unique on the tour and you never know quite what your going to get. Some matches he’ll make 100 errors and in others he’ll be unplayable. Both players have not been on the best form as of late and I fancy the well rested Tursunov to blast Gasquet off the court.

 Predicted Winner :: Tursunov

 Juan Martin Del Potro ARG (65) – Feliciano Lopez ESP (33)

I have come across a few people on the internet tipping Del Potro for this match and I think they are very wrong. I agree that Lopez can be unpredictable at times but when he plays well, he is virtually unstoppable. I really feel Lopez can reach a much higher level than Del Potro who actually leads the head to head 2-0. The last time they played was in October 2007  where Lopez was off form and lost in straight sets however he came into his own this year in Dubai where he showed just how good he can be only losing to Roddick in the final.

Predicted winner : Lopez

 Ivan Ljubicic CRO (24) – Fabrice Santoro FRA (49)

 Every match Ljubicic plays now I always think of a quote from a tennis commentator: “The Ljubicic star had faded.” He won a couple of matches last week against Cilic and Robredo but lost easily to Federer who was clearly not 100 percent. The pair played at this tournament last year when Ljubicic, ranked 7 prevailed in three sets. A year on and Ljubicic is not the player he was and I can see the tricky Frenchman who caused Djokovic a bit of trouble in Dubai chopping his way to victory here.

 Predicted Winner :: Santoro