Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday’s ATP Madrid Masters Tennis Preview

This week’s tennis action comes from the clay courts of Madrid as the top players in the world look to acclimatise themselves to the clay courts with the French Open at Roland Garros only ten days away. In this article will be previewing two third round matches from the men’s draw featuring two of the top three players in the world in Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Roger Federer v Stanislas Wawrinka:

This match pits the world number one, Federer, against the world number twenty-three for the fifth time ever. Federer has a 3-1 lead in victories against his fellow Swiss player, however Wawrinka will take heart from the fact that his one and only victory against his more illustrious countryman came in their only previous meeting on Clay. Can Wawrinka upset the massive odds against him to eliminate Federer?

After being upset in the Semi Finals of the Estoril Open by Albert Montanes at the weekend Federer hit back with a 6-2, 7-6 win over 19 year old German Benjamin Becker in the second round of this tournament after his first round bye due to being seeded. It was a good first set performance by the defending champion, but he could not break the young German in the second set but used his experience well in the tie break to wrap up the match.

Wawrinka has played two matches so far, beating Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-4 in the first round before following that up with his opponent Leonardo Mayer retiring in their second round encounter with the score at 6-4, 6-2 in the Swiss players advantage.

With Federer seemingly back in form again William Hill have made him the massive favourite to progress in this tie @ 2/5, with Wawrinka available at 7/4, but will the match go the way the odds suggest? Federer is good enough to defeat Wawrinka easily but he has not been at his best in recent weeks and Wawrinka is good enough to beat Federer should the world number one not play at 100%. As I have stated their only previous clay court encounter ending in a Wawrinka win and that came in straight sets at the 2009 Monte Carlo Masters. With the way that Federer has been so inconsistent in the last while I am going to go with an upset for this match. Recommends: Back Stanislas Wawrinka to beat Roger Federer @ 7/4 with William Hill.

John Isner v Rafael Nadal: are not expecting anything but a Rafael Nadal win in this match as they have the Spaniard available at 1/33 to win the match compared to 10/1 for his American opponent. We feel that there will be an upset on the cards for Federer, will Nadal suffer the same fate?

After his first round bye as second seed Nadal started the tournament off in fine form with an easy 6-4, 6-3 victory over Oleksandr Dolgopolov Junior of the Ukraine. Thirteenth seed Isner has played two matches so far and has struggled to three sets in both of them. He overcame Belgian Christophe Rochus 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round before defeating Columbian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 1-6, 7-6, 6-2. Should the American give Nadal the first set in their match, like he has done in his first two matches, will he be able to progress to the next round?

If Nadal should go one set up on Isner I can see no way back for the American. However, this does not mean that Isner should be written off as he was one set down in the only previous meeting between these two players before pulling a set back. Nadal did manage to win the match but the fact that Isner pulled a set back against the world number three highlights his skill and pluckiness. Unfortunately for him I cannot see him getting anything against Nadal on clay and Nadal should win the game easily enough. Recommends: Back Rafael Nadal to win the match 2-0 @ 1/5 with

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