Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lionel Messi, Gaudi Barcelona Preview and hopefully fan reports from the venue

This week we move to one of my favourite events on the calendar the Godo Barcelona Open. Sure Tiriac the mafia don managed to get a TMS for Madrid, more on that later, but this event is held in the spiritual home of Spanish tennis in Barcelona, so many players learned their craft at this club and many great winners of the event. It’s a tennis club and not a multi purpose venue and for people calling for Nadal to remove this from his schedule, are pissing in the wind, the conditions are favourable, he feels at home there and it also helps his preparation for RG domination.

Now onto to the event itself, the Bye continues his strong work ethic and is enjoying life on La Rambla. The qualifying field was quite strong this time. The warrior Lapentti coming through qualifying for Monte Carlo losing on Friday, then playing qualies here, knocked out Cuevas in 3 sets of course, running away with the last one 6-0. Pere Riba takes out Massu 4 and 4, he must have had a good serving day. Daniel Gimeno-Traver been taken to 3 sets by Bohli, not so good, but the result counts. Kuku the Kazak is back again and hope he makes the MD.

No need to comment too much more on Nadal as he will win the event. Onto the other matches, this will be done on order of the draw down. Gasquet is allegedly playing this event and he got a very kind section playing Hernych with his flat game and the only way Chris Rochus or Devilder would beat him, if Gasquet is injured or he withdraws. Richie getting another pummelling on clay from Rafa, not sure what it would to do the psyche of Mozart.

Next section is the one with el cabezon Almagro, Ferrero and Nalbandian, there are some potential good matches here. Almagro needs to lift his game and Hanescu isn't the best or worst match for him, then Chela or ballbashing Bellucci in the next round. Bellucci sometimes should take a bit of pace off the shots now and then, he will get short replies and then work from there. Ferrero playing Kunitsyn is good 1st rounder for him, then with Nalle anything can happen. He might turn up to play or not give a shit.

Davydenko doesn't have a great record here, but he showed some good signs in his comeback match and potentially a Cañas match would be good for him, as he will get to hit plenty of shots and gain his groove, as he loves playing events to get him into his rhythm. Willy has been average of late, but at least he won 2 matches in a row in Houston and Clement is far from the worst draw. Speaking of poor form the friendly Finn Nieminen needs to get back on track and playing LaLo on clay is always a good place to do it. Hope he gets heckled because he is a cat who deserves heckling all the time.

Gaudio got a WC to the main draw, they haven't forgotten that great display of tennis in 2002 where he was on fire and won the event, then the final in 2004, where he lost to Boredo in very dodgy circumstances. History might repeat itself, because Gaston got Junquiera in the 1st round, who is very beatable, but at the same time Gaston not playing matches and getting proper match conditioning won't help at all. It would be fun if he won, then I wonder if Robredo would feel the need to make a medical timeout for a massage when serving for a match. Tommy, one of the last people to criticise anyone for sportsmanship.

Seppi who is having a poor year playing big Andreev, who he doesn't have a great record against. Acasuso is having some back issues, but has played well here before, playing Sela on clay should be the right match for him, then playing Gonzo who is a bit cold on the clay, might give him some momentum, though he matches up poorly there.

Berdych (who will be the subject of a write up next week) is still his inconsistent self, he could easily thrash Vassallo Arguello or lose handily as Martin has improved in the last 2 seasons and had a good week in Monte Carlo, saving match points against Andreev, then serving for the match against Wawrinka. What ifs are just that, but Vassallo Arguello in a TMS semi would be interesting to say the least.

The King and Schwank will get the pulses ready for the ladies of Barcelona. Oscar needs to perform well in front of his friends and family and this is a good chance for him against Schwank whose form and confidence have gone quicker than free vodka shots. He has some points to defend as well, but that doesn't matter so much, if the mental side of things aren't right and they can be in many different guises, then it's going to impact on their play.

To finish up Pico Monaco playing former champ Safin in the first round on paper looks like the match of the round, things don't always work out like that and it would be good for Monaco to take out Mr.Wildcard.


Vassiliki said...

No matter how hard "they" try to promote Madrid's clay virginity, it's Barcelona that really matters. A matter of mind over matter once again...

Could we all get lucky to see Nadal superficially pressed hard in the final?

Sigurd Sigurdsson said...

I am lucky I wasn't there today. Seppi is continuing his poor form at the moment.

Hard to say about a match that I couldn't see, but leading 5-3 in the 3rd and not winning much else is very disappointing, confidence is a precious commodity.

Seppi not serving out sets is far from new, then again with that 2nd serve it's not a surprise. There is no racquet head speed and he doesn't hit any kickers, it's just a nude serve, at beast virtually nude with a g-string.

A. said...

You really like clay, don't you? lol
Sorry for Seppi, I saw he lost.
I really hope Pico beats Marat I'm starting to get tired of him.
Jarko-Lalo on clay should be a delight. Sorry no ls until Thursday.
If Nadal doesn't win, I'll call you a jinxer :(
I was planning to see it live this year but life happened...
Maybe next year.

Denys said...

Excellent for Gaudio to win, even though it was against Junquiera, Lapentti just keeps on going, the women would love his endurance in bed.

I think Georgie must love the Fog losing so easily. Monaco gave Mr Wildcard a lesson.

Anonymous said...

Back from Barna, it´s always an entertaining event even though organisers are doing their best to make it worse as time goes by.
You can´t access training courts this year unless you´re a journalist as they´ve used the old futsal pitch beyond the training courts as a media room, or another brilliant idea it´s that they´ve made old stands from Court 3 dissappear and now you can only see there a few benches, so only around 25 people can sit now there to see courts 3 and 4 action. For instance that´s why Boris Sobkin had to see Colonel´s yesterday´s match against Wawrinka on his feet bc he arrived just 5 mins before the match started. Fucking disgusting, clowns will always be clowns even if they want to make their circus look different.

Nothing too interesting in qualies, Pere Riba qualified beating Massu to please local crowd, in the "Kaz derby" Kukushkin was too solid for Golubev, (who must have studied in the same school as Korolev did as both love to do silly things on key points) and it was great to see Kukushkin dispose the local lad with relative ease in 1st round later, specially when everybody there (including own Riba I believe) thought Pere was going to win handily. Riba has been too hyped and some people there expect him to do very well but imo he´s nth special. Kuku was never losing that match and he didn´t even have to play well, thing which he did against Ferrer the day after, he played a great match and he showed last year´s form was no fluke, he just loves playing in Godó for some reason and plays his best there.

(I will try to write 2 or 3 more of this pieces during today and tomorrow, don´t have too much time, unfortunately)


Anonymous said...

On Monday I could see some entertaining matches. Ventura vs Granollers was a funny one, Marcel bores me to death and when he´s not confident and plays bad, he´s just terrible. Ventura has much more talent than him, his strokes are much more fluid, bh is a much better stroke, he can pick his spots on serve, ofc he volleys well better, etc. Match was not as tight as a 76 63 score shows, it was a total domination and it was good to see, Santi should have done better with his career, and Marcel has made the most out of it.

Andreev vs Seppi was funny as well, in first set Andreev´s bh was solid and Seppi couldn´t find a way to win the points, therefore Igor won it easily despite losing an early break. But from second set, Seppi started to play better and Andreev´s bh started to miss much more, and he didn´t recover it till he was broken in 3rd set first service game. 3rd set was pretty levelled and Seppi served for it at 5-4, made a couple of weak ue´s and Andreev played two good points to break back. After that, he held easily and one could have guessed the result even without looking at the court. Seppi was shaking, played a poor service game again and lost the match.

Apart from him, new skin-head looking Acasuso was too solid for Sela in the end without doing nth special, Beto won a clownish match against a terrible Gicquel, and the highlight of the day was Kunitsyn schooling Casablanca´s champ JCF. Priceless, really!


Marc said...

Thanks so much for the reports Deivid, so not a fan of Elvis Granollers then?

Not a surprise that the JCF result impressed you, does he still think he is Borg like or not?

Gonzalez and Ferrer was a fun match today. Gonzo was ripping the winners, then Ferrer changed it up and was able to get the big W.