Reader Poll!

Just kidding. I prefer the actual discussion of these questions that websites and blogs often offer their readers. Sure polls and surveys are “fun” and interesting and easy, I suspect. rafa-nadal-acapulco_0But let’s hear what you have to say, rather than “see” what button you push. 😀

  1. Who needs an Acapulco win more: Djokovic or Nadal? The Serb’s late entry smells of some kind of (winning) strategy (or concern/desperation). Some might see the Djokovic WC as ominous for that 500’s field, a nice depth of talent, for sure. What say you?
  2. How much is at stake in Acapulco for players such as Raonic, Thiem, Zverev or Goffin? In a few hours, Raonic faces Del Potro down in Delray Beach for that title. How might these early 2017 tilts be critical for his season, or is he set to wallow around the top-8 all year? Thiem too has a shot at a title in Rio, set to play his SF against Ramos. Is this Abierto Mexicano Telcel all about Novak and Rafa, or do these others have a chance to clarify the narrative here – andy-murray-a-dubai-le-26-fevrier-2015.jpgchanging of the guard or status quo?
  3. How badly does Murray need to reestablish his world #1 form in Dubai?
  4. What does Dubai mean to Federer?
  5. Are we, again, giving Wawrinka a pass here, or is the top of the Dubai marquee just that much more interesting?

There you go, readers: do a little poll dancing 😀

I will wrap the weekend especially after the Marseille and Delray Beach champions are crowned. Tsonga took out Kyrgios is three sets in the first Open 13 SF, so we’ll have a bit on that match; the Frenchman waits for the winner of Pouille v Gasquet – another match I look forward to watching.

And then the heavyweight bout: Raonic v Del Potro in Delray Beach. Something tells me Raonic really needs this win, beating the big Argentinian, more than he does the title; would be a nice two-for-one for the Canadian, but no easy task.

Bonus poll question: How much better is the 2017 tour with a healthy and dangerous Juan Del Potro?

5 comments

  1. 1. How badly does Murray need to re-establish his world #1 form in Dubai? – I think this tournament is inconsequential for the Scot, mainly because the 500 points wouldn’t be enough to make him have to give his all to acquire, but also because his chances of winning it are slim, the faster surface in Dubai most likely will favour the Grandmaster who must have calculated his odds were pretty good to enter, not forgetting his past success at the event of course.

    2. What does Dubai mean to Federer? – It could be another confidence booster for sure! As we know Federer is riding on cloud 9 now, winning an unprecedented 18th Grandslam title, feeling the aura of greatness, Federer is the last person you want to have his confidence back, his age notwithstanding, Federer is a monster and will most likely use his newfound confidence to destroy anything in his path. A confident and fit Federer on paper demolishes any Murray/Wawrinka in Dubai.

    3. Are we, again, giving Wawrinka a pass here, or is the top of the Dubai marquee just that much more interesting? – Looking at what transpired at AO this year, Wawrinka cannot be underestimated, yet I believe his playstyle is not compatible with an in-form Federer, he may fare very well against a baseline grinder like Murray/Slowvak Courtjovic and Nadal, but Federer can and most likely will spoil his chances at another title in Dubai.

    4. Bonus poll question: How much better is the 2017 tour with a healthy and dangerous Juan Del Potro? – DelPo is a class act, and I firmly believe that he on a good day is just as good as the “big 5”, he can produce some of the most lethal groundstrokes, and his forehand is simply out of this world, when it clicks it’s game over. We saw this at the Olympics last year where A confident and mostly healthy DelPo can spell trouble for best guys out there. I think his injury ridden career is truly a tragedy, he most likely would have fought his way to a couple more Grandslam titles. Having him back is a breath of fresh air, here we have a giant who can play with finesse, you don’t see that often nowadays!

    I love it when people put Cilic and Raonic next to DelPo, the Croatian Doperlic is a disgrace to mankind and Tennis, and should have been relegated to ball boy the moment he was caught doping. And as for Raonic he doesn’t have the feel of DelPo and certainly not the forehand or heart for that matter. DelPo is a class of his own when it comes to physical giants. I would like nothing else than for him to return and start smashing guys left and right, revenging his absence and the chances he was robbed of during all these injuries, I want him to kill it out there.

    P.S, I am in no way thinking that Federer automatically takes Dubai, he may even be dismissed in the first two rounds, who knows!? But if he plays remotely close to AO17 standards, then they may just start packing, a best of three on Dubai relatively speedy court for today’s standards (unless they tampered with them), should favor Federer’s brand of tennis quite well.

  2. Top 10 players aim for slam- and Master titles : it’s at those tournaments they earn the most honor, money and rankings points.
    Dubai and Acapulco are only lead-up tournaments to these bigger tourneys and therefore less important for those players.
    Acapulco is close to the Unites States, plays slower than Dubai, has a strong enough field this year, and allows Novak to avoid Roger Federer at the moment and keep his H2H unchanged. All favorable factors which Novak is factoring in I guess.
    I think it’s a wise decision on his part. Interesting development, and good for tennis overall. Acapulco field is stronger this year than the one from Dubai.

  3. As always you continue to please your readership Matt; currently with continuous reports from the field keeping us updated of the top players’ progress and their significance.
    I am pleased you avoided the poll trap: comments are more personal, (probably) insightful and keep their writers accountable. Since you have pretty much covered everything, I’ll proceed to your questions:
    1) In my view Djokovic, as he needs to reestablish his no 1 status. Every big win is a bonus for Nadal as if he loses on HC not many will blip- the same doesn’t apply to Djokovic; anything less than a final appearance is confidence building for the Serb’s enemies whose appetite will grow further. I guess the difference it’s the current perspective: Novak needs to reestablish his status as the top dog – Rafael is just preparing for the his preferred part of the season (clay) and is playing to get/stay in form.
    2) These tourneys are always a chance for these players to shine, underlined by the big names competing, (following the masters’ 1000 and GS which are course the best piece of the ATP pie). Although most of them have titles to show in their resume, a title over a multiple GS winner would solidify their claim.
    3) Not that many points are on stake and Murray has none to defend. Also the fast courts are not his best surface, so no big deal for him. Again, victory would be highly boosting for his confidence.
    4) Federer should go deep in Dubai – if not injured – since the surface and the 3-set format favors him. Then again I’m not sure he has regained the total of this mobility (groin issue), and his “new” gameplan/backhand is not thoroughly tested so I’d be cautious. But he is the one of the current greats to risk the less at the moment (late time in his career), so he can play more care-free than the others.
    5) Wawrinka shouldn’t be underestimated on HC but as Caligula said on a fast surface Federer should prevail; also his match-up with Murray isn’t in his favor.
    6) The tour is on the lookout for a tall powerful player with good mobility for the last 3-4 years who can get in the mix consistently. I hoped for Anderson, you Matt for Cilic (if memory serves), others for Raonic. If Del Potro can turn the tables on his bad carma, I’ll enjoy it a lot as a happy end story.

    Waiting for the 500’s results before the desert battleground…

  4. Good stuff, gentlemen. The reason I say this is pretty important, especially for Djoker, concerns the domination that is a world #1. If Djoker wants that back, he has to win everything (for that mental dominance). That’s what the number 1 does, since the reign of Federer. He ruined tennis, remember? He won EVERYTHING.

    Slovak has done a pretty damn good job of this (winning everything) but he’s fallen. Can he get up?

    I think of these two 500s, therefore, a win is most important to Slowvak Courtjovic.

    And sure who doesn’t want some confidence going into IW/MI.

  5. What a treat, Matt! One post after another. And bringing Readers Poll to a whole new and more MEANINGFUL level! Just as how the Grandmaster (to borrow Caligula) ruined tennis, you, Matt, has ruined tennis discussions, with your high and innovative standards! 😜

    Agree with you, Matt, Djoker needs it more than anybody; ie if he is still interested to stay no.1. It’s about dominance; if you wanna talk about GOAT. Weak era or not, Roger dominated like no other. I DO NOT think any other player, past or present would have dominated like Roger did given the same era. Ppl don’t understand about showing up day in day out. Look at the glass young gen. Couldn’t hold it together, for the life of me from one tourney to another ( with few exceptions of course) never mind one match after another. It is gruelling out there. The top 5 will hold the advantage for a long time yet because of their maturity, availability in the best of training and diets and their ENORMOUS experience. As you commented in an earlier post, Matt, Roger has so much experience, it is….., I forgot what word you used, but it makes it very difficult for his opponents.

    Murray. He’s gotta get back to the groove. But with lingering effects of shingles which had affected his practice schedule, it didn’t look easy for him in his first round. I don’t think he would go far. He would need another tourney to get going, me thinks. But having done so well end last year, having few points to defend and only just had one slip in AO, I don’t think his confidence would suffer much; and I believe with the illness, he understands and would give himself bit more time without being frustrated if he doesn’t do well at Dubai. Not so for Djoker. Djoker has got to win Acapulco and beating Nadal in the final (if Nadal gets there) would be exactly what he needs. Having said that, it would still not be end of the world for him. What would be more important, I feel, is IW/Miami. There, he must win. But Acapulco would be a great builder back for his confidence and accepting that wildcard is like making a statement for himself which he would want to honor.

    Nadal, not so important. Just don’t lose in early rounds, that’s all he needs. He is all about the clay. As long as he has some decent showings in the rest of the hard courts before clay, and as long as he avoids being trashed by Djoker, he would be fine. More important to not overplay and stay healthy for clay. I feel he could be resurgent in clay again. And if Djoker doesn’t rise up, I see 10th RG for Nadal. I will be happy for him.

    I’m still rather conservative as far as young gen go. So I say status quo as far as they are concerned. Can’t see them winning any titles if the big 5 are entered into same tourneys as them.

    Any win is icing on cake for Roger, really, after the 18th. So it’s not that important to win Dubai; although he can be pissed with himself if he doesn’t win it (providing leg no issue) coz these courts are tailor made for him just like AO courts (not 2017😜) are tailor made for Djoker. But if Roger wins it, watch out. If there is a player you don’t want to give confidence to, it’s Roger, haha! He is riding on a high right now; in confidence, in freedom, in peace, in enjoyment, in his game. He is playing with such abandon and relish. In fact, if his body holds up, we could even be in for another Roger Federer era, part 2; albeit a shorter version!! Get ready to be “bored”, haha! Now wouldn’t that be something to marvel and behold, whether you are a fan or not?! But equally possible could be tomorrow his body just gives up, you never know.!

    Now, you keep up the great work, Matt!

What say you?