Sunday, March 22, 2009

Indian Wells Analysis

Rafa Nadal put together rediculous topspin forehands and side spinning serves to ultimately win his 13th Masters title and 2nd title at the BNP Paribas Open. Nadal didn't just beat world number 4 Andy Murray, he dominated him and made him look like a child. Murray's 2 weeks in Indian Wells were great nonetheless, but in the end, he ran into a force that was better than he was. And what about the other 2 members of the top 4, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Indian Wells was dissapointing for these 2, as Djokovic suffered a lopsided loss to Andy Roddick in the quarters, while the Swiss lost a devastating match to Murray.We could go on and on about Federer, and the fact that lately he has been incapable of defeating both Nadal and Murray but it all comes down to 2 things that are inevitable. First: If Roger doesn't get a coach, he will not be able to come up with ways to defeat the younger, stronger and fresher crop rising on the ATP tour that is headlined by Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. If he thinks he can discover tactics and mechanisms to beat them, he is wrong, and that is not meant as an insult to FedEx, as I would consider it more of a complement to the players that now can routinely figure Federer out. Second: In 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, Federer passed the game. He was by far the most talented and the young crowd on the tour was no where near a gifted as it is today. Right now, the game is passing Federer,as players like Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, Gilles Simon and Juan Martin del Potro are continuously imprving their games while Federer is struggling to keep up. Their is no doubt that Federer is still one of the players at the top of the pack and is one of the best of the best, but time is running out to get number 14.

The women's tournament was equally exciting, although the absense of the Williams sisters decreased the interest that avid tennis fans usually have. Dinara Safina had a golden oppurunity to dethrone Serena Williams from the number 1 spot. Safina had her work cut out for her, as all she had to do was reach the final. In her way was Victoria Azarenka, who didn't end up winning the tournament, but made an impressive run to the semis and is starting to put her stamp on the women's game. A few other young talents that had impressive showing in the desert are Caroline Wozniacki and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. 17 year old Pavlyuchenkova dominated the junior ranks and proved she could hang with the big girls by reaching the semifinals. Although Azarenka and Pavlyuchenkova worked hard and fought in their semifinal matches, 2 women prevailed and proved they were stronger than the rest. Vera Zvonareva and Ana Ivanovic fought it out in a final that was almost controlled by mother nature. The wind in California reached record highs as shots that were aimed to the middle of the court somehow ended up 7 to 8 feet wide. Tosses that were planted perfectly above the girls' heads landed either several yards behind them or infront of them. Ultimately, the girl who got more balls back won. That is a simply put a it gets, and that girl was Zvonareva. "I was trying to put as many balls as I can in the court," was how Zvonareva explained her strategy. The presence of the Williams' sisters in Key Biscane may create for more fn interest, but the Russian women at Indian Wells created an amusing tournament anyway.

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