In what must be a great blow to the great man’s confidence, Roger Federer will for the 2nd straight match, will play his match on Lenglen and not Chatrier. Cliff D gave us the stat yesterday, on the horrible coverage of Roger’s match (we suggest mapping out court whatever and then tuning the mix channel to it and leaving it there, so you get less pretentious announcers and practically no commercial breaks), that Roger had not played a match on Lenglen since 2004. Let alone 2. And he’s got the nasty little Serb, and we mean that as a compliment, Janko Tipsarevic, a giant slayer at majors throughout the years, who nearly punched Roger’s ticket at Oz a few years back, and let me tell you, we were scared. Tipsarevic played practically lights out for 3 sets, and he really didn’t show any signs of losing his fight until deep into the 5th set. Roger could have easily lost.
Federer: – 1500
Tipsarevic: + 700
Fed’s got the edge on clay, but these 2 haven’t met on clay, and we’ve seen Tipsarevic bulldog a lot of people on clay. He’s comfortable there. Should only be about 63-64 degrees when they pair off tomorrow, and a little cloudy. The slower court will not help Tipsarevic much, and meanwhile, have you seen those balls?!! The ones that the prince, Novak Djokovic, Lord Conqueror, and the princess, Andy Murray, Lady Grace, have had the audacity to criticize the balls because these new Babolat balls being used this year at Roland Garros, are popping. Making Roger and Djokovic’s opponent tomorrow, Juan Martin Del Potro, a ball crusher for the ages, look pretty good.
Juan Martin Del Potro: + 400
Novak Djokovic: – 700
That line is huge. Sure, Del Potro is not all the way back, but if Isner served consistent 140’s, then DP should have a good day on serve, making him just about the only guy to win free points off Djokovic all year. And the kid does have to lose some time. So yeah, I mean, we love the balls! First the slow hards, then the slow clay that they even water every few minutes, and these things diminish the quality of the tennis. Sunny skies and faster balls tips thbalance a bit for the shot makers and ball strikers, and they deserve to enjoy an innovation that doesn’t aid safe baselining for a change.
We like Zvonareva and Pavlyuchenkova tomorrow:
Vera Zvonareva: – 650
Anastasia Rodionova: + 375
Llagostera Vives: + 325
Pavlyuchenkova: – 550
We are pulling for the champ, Francesca Schiavone, in her matchup with annoying 2-hand on both sides, Shuai Peng:
Peng: + 120
Schiavone: – 160
Not a lot of respect for the champ, we’d have to say. Speaking of annoying two-handers, ugly and annoying Marion Bartoli is going against the German force of late, Julia Goerges, who has an excellent first serve. The 2nd ball is not as stirring. We want Goerges, obviously, and think she might be the surprise pick this fortknight, but we also wouldn’t be shocked if Bartoli beat her. And that really sums up our feelings on the women’s game.
Julia Goerges: – 250
Marion Bartoli: + 175
Kuznetsova, who has toned down and looks like a real threat here after all, is a big favorite over Rebecca Marino (-700/+400). Somehow JW Tsonga is a favorite over the brilliant moving on clay, Stan Wawrinka (-105/-135). We’ll take Stan, the fitter player, and good dirt baller. Bethanie Mattek-Sands takes on Jankovic, who you know we just think plays such lazy, boring, and safe tennis. A real contrast in styles, since Sands doesn’t have the pure strokes, but has all the guts, hands, and touch that Jankovic lacks. It would be enormous for Sands to make the round of 16.
Jankovic: – 450
Sands: + 275
Ferrer/Stakhovsky…Ferrer a – 2000 favorite, and he should be a big favorite, but we have a soft spot for talented one hander, and we’d love to see him make the round of 16, playing the style he does. A couple more interesting ones:
Wozniacki: – 350
Hantuchova: + 225 (see bikini shot above)
Gasquet: – 180
Bellucci: + 130
Good tennis tomorrow. Even for clay. Stick with the mix channels.