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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Tennis Recap May 6-13 (Madrid)

It wasn't a great week in Madrid for tennis fans as too many players were not happy about being here and that meant that there were some poor performances and some really surprising results.

I don't think I can remember the last time that both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had exited a Masters event before the Semi Finals, and both players left with their future participation at the event very much in doubt.

I'll put down a few thoughts from the event below and also update the season profit and loss. I will then have a separate thread with the outright picks from the Rome Masters, which actually began earlier today, and daily pick threads will start from tomorrow...

Roger Federer has reached World Number 2: Over the last 6-8 months, Roger Federer has definitely got back to something like his best and I am not surprised in the slightest that he has overtaken Rafael Nadal in the Rankings and moved back to the World Number 2 position. For the first time in many years, Federer has made it no secret of his desire to return to the Number 1 position when this season began and he is well on the way to getting somewhere near that as Novak Djokovic has plenty more points to defend than the Swiss man.

A couple of months ago, I also made it a point to suggest the move back into the top 2 in the World Rankings may actually aid Federer's chances of winning another Grand Slam as he is could, depending on the draw of course, no longer need to beat BOTH  Rafael Nadal and Djokovic to do so. At the end of the day, in a gruelling Grand Slam event, it is those small differences that can make all the difference.

Now I am not sure when the French Open decides on their seeds but I do know that unlike Wimbledon, they are based solely on the Rankings a player has rather than looking at past results as Wimbledon does. My only question is whether the seedings are taken from Rankings in this week or the previous week?

Federer only reached the Third Round at the Rome Masters last season, so I expect he will likely further increase his lead over Nadal in the Number 3 position and perhaps close further on Djokovic as the Number 1...

Serena Williams may still not be the player to beat at Roland Garros: I have tremendous respect for Serena Williams who I regularly describe as the best player in the World, but I am not jumping on the bandwagon just yet that she is the favourite to win at Roland Garros.

The bottom line is she has struggled at that event throughout her career, only winning it once, and she regularly has to beat the fans as well as her opponent and that has never really sat well with her.

Williams did record a thumping win over Victoria Azarenka, the World Number 1 and the most in-form player in 2012, but the conditions in Madrid favour the American's game so much and are not replicated in Paris. The altitude makes the ball run faster, while the courts have always been quicker than other clay courts so I think it is too soon for people to label Williams as the favourite.

Next week the Tour moves to Rome and I will be interested to see how she performs there (although she may make my outright plan once I look at her draw).

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic whinging: Normally I would say that the players are being bad losers in their criticisms of the courts in Madrid, but you can't really say too much when the organisers themselves admit that they are slippery and they have made mistakes in the way they have laid the surface.

The problem here seems to be that the courts have been laid too late, meaning there was nothing that could be done once the organisers realised that they were not as playable as they had been making out in the lead up to the event.

I would love to see more contrasts in the courts around the World rather than the way they are at the moment with similar speeds and little variation in the surfaces... However, I don't think the courts in Madrid came under that category, but rather were a little dangerous with players struggling with footing and turning.

With the top two players (in terms of Ranking coming into the event) essentially saying they will boycott this tournament in the future until they return to the red clay, I think Madrid's hand may well be forced for the 2013 event.

Weekly Update: 7-6, + 1.60 Units (26 Units Staked)

Season Update: + 34.08 Units (354 Units Staked, 9.63% yield)

Season 2011: + 82.02 Units

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