The Monsters… and Bellucci
May 6, 2011 1 Comment
“ATP is SO AWESOME, the level of the players is so high, and the rivalries are amazing!”
Yes, it is. You’re right, undeniable. But come on now, it’s not funny anymore. Biggest proof is, Rafa and Roger – friends, but rivals – will kill themselves on a tennis court tomorrow. And this event wasn’t even overhyped!
My theory is, the final four of the big events are eternal loops now. So people are just strategically tanking the early rounds, paying attention in one or two matches, and flash forwarding their tennis love to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
In Madrid the screenplay, mostly, had no surprises under its sleeves. Sort of. As Murray – the last element of the Big 4 – is still slumping – even though he’s not losing to American qualifiers anymore – and clay was never his best surface, one semifinal spot is technically open. And there’s where the surprised dwell.
For Madrid, the outsider is Thomaz Bellucci. Yes, that’s right! I talked about him two posts ago, and I’m glad I’m at it again. Because Bellucci beat Berdych today, in straight sets, to reach his first ever Masters semifinal (last time a Brazilian had gotten this far was in 2003, in Indian Wells). From all the seeds and sleepers in Murray’s quarter, I must admit I would never bet on Bellucci. But for what is worth, he’s earning. Good luck tomorrow against Nole, kid.
Oh yeah, there is Nole too. He did his thing and extended The Streak up to 32 wins (30 this year). Ferrer fought, of course. Because that’s his personality. But in the end, Djokovic prevailed. So, chance for the long awaited Nole-Rafa meeting on the dirrrrrrrrrt is still alive and running.
Yes. Because didn’t you think Llodra could beat Nadal, did you? Rafa dropped only the insurance four games, and that was it. 74 minutes, job done, on the way to the semifinals. The Clay Monster (Monsters eat Kings for breakfasts, so) fed himself another win. I wonder if someday Rafa will just get bored.
Oh, right. There is a little rock standing between Rafa and the finals. And this “little rock” has won sixteen Grand Slams.
Routine. Can’t say anything else about Federer’s win over Robin Soderling. But that’s good, Robin, you fell in the quarterfinals to the number three. As the world number five, it’s ok to lose to the four best ranked players. But meh. It’s annoying when you play someone sixteen times and the guy is the one spraying champagne after the match point in fifteen of these occasions.
Whatever. I nicknamed these finals with the name of this post – The Monsters. And Bellucci. Because even though Bellucci did a MONSTRUOUS job, considering who he is, dismantling two top-10s en route to the final four, we cannot forget who the real deal is. Or are, in this case.
Just a curiosity: Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Bellucci are the number 1 of their respective countries. Respect.
USEFUL PART OF THE POST – Quarterfinal results:
(1) Rafael Nadal (ESP) d. Michael Llodra (FRA) – 6/2, 6/2
(3) Roger Federer (SUI) d. (5) Robin Soderling (SWE) – 7/6 (2), 6/4
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) d. (7) Tomas Berdych (CZE) – 7/6 (2), 6/3
(2) Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. (6) David Ferrer (ESP) – 6/4, 4/6, 6/3
Nadal vs. Federer – Starting not before 4 p.m. local time – Nadal leads the H2H 15-8, 10-2 on clay. Most recent meeting was in Miami semifinals (Nadal won 6/3, 6/2); Last on clay, Madrid 2010 final, Nadal won 6/4, 7/6 (5).
Djokovic vs. Bellucci – Starting not before 7 p.m. local time – Nole won their only previous meeting, in Rome last year, 6/4, 6/4.
All pics taken from Yahoo! Sports