Indian Wells 2017 R3 is where, we’re told, the drama begins. Most tournaments see some solid matches at this point, anyway. Of course, this is all about the bottom half, the “quarter of death,” to be specific, or whatever it is people are calling this tournament draw.
Jon Wertheim a pretty respectable tennis scribe and talking head was the latest I saw/heard go very awkward (and challenged) championing the MOST UNBELIEVABLE QUARTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT!
He interviewed Nishikori and Nadal today in the studio after those two had each won their matches. Wertheim brought-up the “loaded” quarter, asked how they reacted to the news, you know, the terror of it all. Both players downplayed the entire conversation. After pressing Nadal awkwardly, he got the Spaniard to say, chuckling artificially, how he might have wished he was in another quarter, but it was really to appease and shut-up the American. Wertheim actually referred to Kei’s draw, in front of Kei, as “easier” than those whom have to face the terror of the quarter of death. This is embarrassing. Wertheim is better than this. I think.
This could have been Ruan interviewing Kei and Nadal. The popular media is really no better than a fanboy blogger, which is what I reacted to when I wrote my Serena article: the terrible mainstream media tennis narrative. Are you really trying to sell shoes mainly, or racquets, or tickets to an event, or eyeballs for the television? Part of my Serena article was pointing-out how overrated she is, in my humble opinion, given the vast talent of the women’s game historically; the other, perhaps more important part was my reaction to how challenged the mainstream media was in their coverage, calling her the GOAT (before she’d actually completed the calendar slam, which she never did accomplish), OMG, blah blah blah.
As long as we have this garbage coverage, misinforming, failing really, innocent tennis fans, we have Mcshow Tennis Blog. Smarten-up out there and maybe I’ll go away. 😀
R3 in the Top Half:
Wawrinka v Kohlschreiber
Thiem v Mischa Zverev
I’m pulling a tennis snobbery and saying that we need Thiem or Wawrinka to represent here. The rest of the top half is pretty deplorable. Murray really shit the bed, but this is on the Indian Wells organization. The bottom quarter is irresponsible, not because it’s the most loaded quarter in the history of the universe, but because dropping one or two of these blokes into the top half would have given the brackets a bit of integrity. Beyond Murray, you’re looking at a pathetic list of semi-finalists. Goffin is the most qualified for the later rounds. That’s it from the top quarter.
The second quarter has Stan, Monfils, Isner (who plays well at IW, but I don’t think he has much in the tank), Berdych and his R3 opponent, the young, talented Japanese kid Nishioka, Thiem and Zverev.
A Stan/Thiem v Agut/Goffin is about the best one can hope for in the first SF. Pretty thin, folks.
R3 in the Bottom Half
In the bottom, the matches really begin in this next round. A.Zverev v Kyrgios, Djokovic v Del Potro, Federer v Johnson, Nadal v Verdasco, Dimitrov v Sock, and Pouille plays, as does Nishikori. This should be interesting. Verdasco is playing well so this should be good. Djokovic should beat Del Potro, but if the Serb is, indeed, hitting a plateau, we could see more trouble for the 2 seed (but he should advance). Dimitrov still looks very confident. I see him getting out of that third quarter.
I just saw Taylor Fritz (whom I have written quite a bit about) beat Cilic. I actually feel bad for Marin Cilic. He is awful. Fritz closed-out the match brilliantly, by breaking the Croation; Fritz served for the match at 5-3, was broken, looked in a bit of trouble, but the break was clean and decisive, finishing the #7 in the world with an over-powering FH. Really good to see the young American, 19 years-old, newly married and now a father, get a win like this.
Tennis should be quite good over the next few days.