Victoria Azarenka (above), ripping a forehand to shreds out in Indian Wells.

We’ve got on Djokovic-Isner, and we’re watching because this what we do.  We’ve watched far worse matches, as you know.  But we are feeling a theme here as far as inevitable outcomes and such.  Isner just broke back in the first set with Djokovic serving for the set.  And now he’s popping aces, and it really looks like we’re headed for a breaker.  Isner did make a bit about how he enjoys playing on slower courts, because he’s slow.  Gives him more time.  And this is an awfully slow court.  In our estimation, some clay courts are faster and that only Miami is slower in America.  We don’t like this tennis.

Miracles do happen.  But this is already gravy for Isner, just making a Masters Series semi.  We just don’t see it happening.  The destiny here is that Djokovic wins, and that he plays Nadal in the final and he beats Nadal again, who is tired from it being his first tournament of the year since Melbourne, and the doubles is also tiring him out, where he happens to play Isner and Querrey in the final.  He and Marc Lopez.

The destiny is also that, despite the way he has looked at times, you can’t really be fooled into thinking here that Federer has a shot against Nadal.  We can always make some angle on it, like the ‘Nadal is tired’ one.  But this court totally suits Nadal.  It is the same court surface where Nadal has beaten him twice in Australia, just a different tacky shade of the Plexicushion.  Nadal’s forehands are bouncing up to the moon practically.  This is not a court many guys are going to hit through.  Evidence of that was Federer-Bellucci the other night, where Roger is in a dogfight because neither guy is hitting many winners.  Bellucci tied Federer in knots.

That’s what happens on this surface to talented players.  They have to hit sometimes 3 or 4 extra shots or more, and it really favors weak pusher backboard tennis.  So we can smell destiny.  Roger on this surface with Nadal is similar to Roger in Miami against Nadal, and we remember that loss there right?  Embarrassing.  Lookie here, Isner up 5-3 in the breaker.  Very nice.

Also, it’s windy out there and Federer plays late in the day.  Those conditions also greatly promote pusher hack tennis.  Slower conditions off the ground with the wind making it harder to serve.  Here are the odds:

2012 Indian Wells Masters 1000 Series Mens Semifinal: 

Federer:  + 125

Nadal:  – 155


If we were inclined to play this match, we’d play Nadal.  We’ve resisted saying that before, holding out for hop that the great man could make a miracle, and it doesn’t seem like it’s gonna happen.  In our eyes, he is destined to lose to Nadal on any hardcourt anywhere that isn’t ultra fast.  We think ultra fast is no longer the way to describe Flushing, and we are there all the time.  Maybe Cincinnati.  That’s maybe the one outdoor venue where Federer could take Nadal.  You know we love Roger, but that’s the truth unless something changes the equation.

What we did like was Azarenka today, also destiny’s child.  Azarenka is several cuts above Sharapova, who is weaker here than in Melbourne.  This is gonna be a beat down’s beat down.  We knew knew knew that Azarenka was gonna roll over Kerber last night, and we give Kerber a fairly decent shot against Azarenka, who we do not give most.  But at (-1200) there’s not a lot you can do with that for Azarenka.

Today the odds were way more reasonable:

2012 Indian Wells Ladies Final:

Azarenka:  – 340

Sharapova:  + 260


This matchup is terrible for Sharapova.  Azarenka shows zero mercy to second serves, and she simply can not be taken off the ground by Sharapova, or out-defended by Sharapova, and she can’t out-serve her or use the net better.  This match is over before it starts.  Azarenka is still undefeated this year, and we’ll be adding another win to her perfect mark.

All matchups, all the time.  Nadal bad for Federer.  Djokovic bad for Nadal.  Federer bad for Del Potro.  Bellucci bad for Federer.  Azarenka bad for everyone.  Djokovic bad for everyone.  Nadal bad for everybody but Djokovic.  Very rarely does the hot guy just come in and blow everyone away, unless the hot guy happens to be Djokovic or Azarenka.  So we’d bet Nadal, and so feel free to take that from us.

And Azarenka, with how she’s playing, is an absolute steal at (- 340).  The days of getting her at that price are all but over.  BTW, Isner 7-6, 2-2 right now.  And we’d love to see Querrey and Isner beat Nadal and Lopez.  That would be good for tennis.

Crack (