Not enough time or energy to wrap round-by-round these days, but there is certainly some ATP action starting to find a rhythm heading into March.
Fedal’s IW/MI warm-up is underway (wait: will Federer play Miami? I seem to remember he would not return in 2019 after a dismal ’18 showing and wasn’t a poor review of the new facility from the Maestro reason as well?). Either way, Federer has seen two three setters in Dubai and Nadal has a R2 match v Kyrgios in Acapulco tonight.
Couple of quick thoughts on Fedal. Federer looked good and bad in these matches, yet he was playing some dangerous veterans, especially when you’re 37 and everyone knows exactly how you play the point. At this point, get the serve back in play and try to extend the point against the Swiss assassin. Philipp and Fernando are especially savvy vet types. Tough to gauge too much other than Federer needs to hold serve and get to bed early these days. Fucsovics should be tough, but Federer should reach the SF.
Nadal should trounce Kyrgios. I am going to call this a good litmus test on my theory that Kyrgios is done. He has been “done” his whole career but was able to find that unplayable form vs. the top players on the tour, especially the Big 3.
But he lost some of that edge over the last couple of years. I don’t recall the tipping-point or two. And once he loses that edge, then it’s just a clown show. If he beats Nadal tonight, a match Nadal wants badly to find some sunshine double energy, the test fails and he’s still a wild card. My theory is he’s no longer a wild card. He’s like a Kyrie Irving or Lebron James: a douche bag bum.
Nadal v Wawrinka in the QF is what we want.
What do you got, Nick?
The other major point to this post is a heads-up on the Basilashvili v Coric match in Dubai tomorrow. The Georgian has all kinds of game and we’re happy to say that Borna is not MIA. I was a little worried after Melbourne though he did run into a heady Pouille; then after his loss in Marseille to the young Frenchman Ugo Humbert; and then he was down a set to Berdych today 1-6.
Basilashvili v Coric should be brilliant with the prospect of playing Federer.
Although I may have seemed off in my must-watch Opelka v Del Potro in Delray Beach, I was very close, off by a few games or a match. The serve-and-volley American McDonald took care of the Argentine in the following match. Had the right flag, but the wrong round.
I said Opelka is a better Isner. He has a lot of tennis to play to whiff Big John’s gym bag, but he may have it in him. Has a little more footwork, a little more balance and Big John has shown him the way: if you are unbreakable, you have a chance against a lot of players.
But the UCLA Bruin alumnus Mackenzie McDonald is no fluke. Sound tennis skills in this one.
Lastly, nice to see Tsitsipas bounce back last week and claim his second title (Marseille) and standing ovation to Felix Auger Aliassime for his runner-up in Rio; let’s see him make a nice run in Sao Paulo this week.