Tennis Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ferrero on track to win French Open title

----------------------------------------------------------------------
By MaliVai Washington
Special to ESPN.com


Juan Carlos Ferrero is on fire. No matter what happens in the coming weeks, you have to think he's the favorite going into the French Open.


Roger Federer looks like this finally might be the year he breaks out to win a Grand Slam event.


There is no question Ferrero is one of the top two or three players on clay and that's been the case for the past two years. With Gustavo Kuerten still rebounding and trying to find his form after his injury-filled year and a half, there's no question that Ferrero is the front-runner of those who can contend on clay.

He's good enough and has the advantage that at a young age he determined the style he wants to play on clay. A lot of players will go for the first part of their career not sure what their style will be, questioning "am I going to come in more or stay back." On clay, Ferrero knows exactly how he wants to play.

Regardless of how he does in Rome or Hamburg, you have to pick him as a heavy contender leading into Paris. Look at the wins he's had just this week alone. He took out Mark Philippoussis, not someone you'd consider a clay-court player but who has the ability and shots to win on clay. Ferrero beat him in straight sets and then the following round beat his countryman Alex Corretja, who is one of the top seven or eight clay-court players right now. Corretja's been in the finals of the French Open on two occasions and Ferrero took him out, also in straight sets. On Thursday, he lost his first set in 15 matches to the man he lost his last set to -- Gaston Gaudio.

So, Ferrero knows the style of game that is going to allow him to succeed on clay. For me, being a player who was better on a faster surface, I look forward to Ferrero also learning what style of game he wants to have on a faster surface like carpet or hard court. There's no reason why he can't be highly successful on surfaces other than red clay.

Every ATP event has some of the best players in the world. To think that Ferrero could go through the tournament with the caliber of players he faced in Valencia without losing a set is baffling. Compare it to Andre Agassi in Houston, where he won his first four matches without losing more than 10 games. Not only does it build Ferrero's confidence, but it also makes other players stand up and take notice of how well he's playing on red clay. They know if Ferrero is remotely on his game that day they are going to have to play exceptionally well to beat him. That's not always the best frame of mind you want to be in on the court. So not only does he have the physical edge, he has the mental edge against any player right now on red clay.

He's a contender
Roger Federer is a player who I've been touting as a Grand Slam winner-to-be for two years now. Time after time he's disappointed me. That said, the guy is still 21 years old and it's nice to be that good that young. He still has his whole career in front of him. This may be a breakout year. He has a great record, the ATP's best this year at 34-6, which is by far the best start in his career. Though he's disappointed by some of his results the last couple of years, each year his game improves, each year his ranking improves and each year his tournament wins improve.

So I'm going to go out on a limb again and say this is the year Federer wins a major. And the nice thing about Federer is that I can't really say whether it's going to be the French Open, Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. He has the ability to win all three or none of 'em. Whereas Ferrero, right now with his game, can only win the French.

Another winner
Coming into this week, Carlos Moya had a tremendous record on clay 19-2 coming into this week, almost as good as Ferrero who was 17-1 on clay coming in. It's hard to say why Moya has only been able to win one major in his career. You can point to his back injury a couple of years ago and what I thought might have been a little bit of lack of desire. But despite his loss to Yevgeny Kafelnikov this week, it seems like last year and this year he's almost taken on a different persona. He seems to realize the gift that he has and he seems to be willing to do the work he needs to reach the high level. After 1999 when he reached No. 1 in the world, it seemed that his results dropped dramatically.

It'd be nice to see a player of his ability get back to where he can contend in a major.

Upset hangover
One thing I love about tennis is that if your mindset is in the right place you throw away all the baggage that comes with your opponent. You throw away the titles and the notoriety that they might have. No matter who you are when you're on the court, the player who keeps the ball inside the lines the most is going to win.

There are times when top players win matches based on who they are because they are playing someone with very little experience and their opponent might be overwhelmed by the situation, but you take a guy like Martin Verkerk, a 24-year-old from the Netherlands without a lot of notoriety, who takes out two Americans. He beat Vince Spadea, who has had a very good year, and no one would have predicted that he would beat Andy Roddick.

I'm interested to see how Verkerk is going to respond after Roddick -- certainly the biggest win of his year and maybe his career if you go by how he reacted after the match. Sometimes if you have a bit of a win you have a bit of a letdown afterward (as I know from experience). You come out and your game is a little flat. That's what happened to David Ferrer after he beat Agassi -- the No. 1 player in the world, this week. Something I would predict that Ferrer might never do again. And then he goes out against Ivan Lubicic and wins five games. How does that happen? He obviously was on such an emotional high after beating Agassi that he crashed and burned after the next round.

MaliVai Washington, a tennis analyst for ESPN, reached the 1996 Wimbledon final.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
I'll keep my fingers crossed on the Fed winning a major this year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,582 Posts
I'm interested to see how Verkerk is going to respond after Roddick -- certainly the biggest win of his year and maybe his career if you go by how he reacted after the match.
I'm no mind reader, but I would have to think that beating Kafelnikov in a final for his first title would have to topple beating Roddick on clay as his best win.

I had to refrain from rolling my eyes several times at this.
 

·
Adrenaline junkie
Joined
·
23,001 Posts
Rebecca said:
I'm no mind reader, but I would have to think that beating Kafelnikov in a final for his first title would have to topple beating Roddick on clay as his best win.
How can you not understand that Roddick is God and beating him is a supreme achievement, better than winning Slams, Davis Cup or sex.. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
PS said:
this article is quite old and it was posted here before
Actually, Mrs. B retrieved it;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,940 Posts
LOL! Saying Federer will win a major is always going out on a limb, eh! Well, if he does, I will cry like a baby, seeing as how I cried period everytime Guga won. Never got bored of it. Oh, how I want to have my favorites regularly winning majors again.
 

·
psychotic banana
Joined
·
3,022 Posts
Question from a tennis "newbie" here..has Federer ever advanced past the 4th round of a major?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
1jackson2001 said:
Question from a tennis "newbie" here..has Federer ever advanced past the 4th round of a major?
Yes, in 2001 he was in the QFs of both RG and Wimby.

Last year he exited both in the 1st rd. I want to say that it was due to the death of his coach and not some personality flaw, but his current tennis seems to prove the latter:eek:

BTW, what brings you to the end of the Earth (men's tennis forum)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,989 Posts
Psssst

.... Roger's first round losses in RG and Wimby were before his former coach Peter Carter died in a car accident on august first last year.

Sooo this loses have more likely to do that he wasn't able to handle the pressure (and the conditions) he suddenly had after his win in Hamburg. And that first round loss in RG lead to even more pressure and we know what happend in Wimby. Then came this tragedi with his coach... wich for sure didn't help to get confidence back either. It really was only found again in Casablanca ;)

Well in a few days we'll know how he'll be able to handle it this time. It only can get better ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
As I see it, as soon as Rogi became a favourite, there was pressure and he couldn't handle it... he says it himself, he doesn't like the pressure and also doesn't like when people, like B Becker, say he can be #1 and win many slams, etc.

Once he learns to deal with the pressure, he might be able to win the big one... hope it's soon, like next 2 weeks! :p ;) :kiss:

Even Juanqui found the occasion overwhelming last yr in the RG Final even though he has more belief and determination and confidence than Rogi [although Rogi is MORE naturally talented... which doesn't always make for the best champion...].

Anyway, ALLEZ ROGI! :kiss:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,774 Posts
Not if he plays like to today, he isn't. Dreadful, mindless UEs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,774 Posts
Hendouble said:
Was Federer playing today? Or am I missing something here...?
I was talking about Verkerk, the other one mentioned in the title. ;) The one that lost to Davydenko today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,846 Posts
Layla said:
I was talking about Verkerk, the other one mentioned in the title. ;) The one that lost to Davydenko today.

so it's good no one knew you were talking about him...Now he's really a dark horse
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top