Juan Carlos Ferrero

Rafael Nadal (above) after stunning 3 set upset, suffered at the hands of Croat comer Ivan Dodig.  For Nadal, who was outplayed, it was the first time losing in the 2nd round of a Masters 1000 level event since 2008 (Rome, Juan Carlos Ferrero), and the first time doing so on North American soil since 2007 (Cincinnati, Juan Monaco).

Rogers Cup — Mens Masters 1000 Series (Montreal)


12:00 PM


Tomas Berdych:  – 275

Ivo Karlovich:  + 185

1:00 PM


Stanislas Wawrinka:  – 200

Kevin Anderson:  + 150

2:00 PM


Novak Djokovic:  – 900

Marin Cilic:  + 500

4:00 PM


Janko Tipsarevic:  – 180

Ivan Dodig:  + 130

5:00 PM


Mardy Fish:  – 175

Ernests Gulbis:  + 125

5:30 PM


Victor Troicki:  + 110

Gael Monfils:  – 150

7:30 PM


Roger Federer:  – 275

JW Tsonga:  + 185


Richard Gasquet:  – 200

Nicolas Almagro:  + 150


Rogers Cup — Women (Toronto)


1:00 PM


Andrea Petkovic:  + 150

Petra Kvitova:  – 200


2:00 PM


Roberta Vinci:  + 200

Ana Ivanovic:  – 300


MJ Martinez Sanchez:  + 250

Victoria Azarenka:  – 400


3:30 PM


Maria Sharapova:  – 600

Galina Voskoboeva:  + 400


Vera Zvonareva:  – 150

Agnieszka Radwanska:  + 110


7:00 PM


Serena Williams:  – 1200

Jie Zheng:  + 600


Francesca Schiavone:  – 185

Lucie Safarova:  + 135


2009 French Open champion Roger Federer (above).

First, the odds for the men’s 2011 French Open champion:


Alexander Dolgopolov Jr. —  +15000 (wager 100 units to win 15000)

Andy Murray —  + 1500 (wager 100 units to win 1500)

Andy Roddick —  + 20000 (wager 100 units to win 20000)

David Ferrer —  + 2500

Ernests Gulbis —  + 15000

Fernando Gonzalez — + 15000

Gael Monfils — + 10000

Gilles Simon — + 15000

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga — + 15000

John Isner — + 20000

Juan Carlos Ferrero — + 15000

Juan Martin Del Potro — + 2500

Juan Monaco —  + 20000

Jurgen Melzer — + 10000

Marin Cilic — + 10000

Mikhail Youzhny — + 15000

Milos Raonic — + 15000

Nicolas Almagro — + 8000

Nikolay Davydenko — + 10000

Novak Djokovic — + 125

Rafael Nadal — – 125

Richard Gasquet — + 8000

Robin Soderling — + 3000

Roger Federer — + 1500

Stanislas Wawrinka — + 15000

Thomaz Bellucci — + 8000

Tomas Berdych — + 8000

Field (Any Other Player) — + 5000


These odds are rough.  Only Nadal and Djokovic have reasonable odds, and Nadal is the slight favorite right now.  Honestly, we expected to see Djokovic with a much larger number next to the plus, and we expected to see Federer and Soderling with much lower numbers next to the plus.  Caesar’s Palace is paying very little respect to the players listed, as well as the rest of the field. 

Federer is 1 year removed from holding the trophy.  This is a tournament where traditionally, hell breaks loose on high seeds, and we’d definitely take a flyer on Federer, Murray, or Soderling if asked to play an odds on dog.  Probably Del Potro too, though we can’t tell if he’s really ready for RG, and hasn’t gotten his seed up high enough yet to enjoy a nice draw (world # 27).  Del Potro fans shouldn’t worry though.  He’s played impressive tennis this year, has won a few tournaments, and has shown good mental toughness.  We like the way he spanked a good clay courter in Verdasco, 6-2, 6-2 in the Estoril final, and as far as we can count, he is one of the few guys to win a title on clay and hards this year.  But DP did not play Rome, was a walkover for Nadal in Madrid due to a thigh injury, and there is talk that he may not be ready to go Sunday. 

We’d like to see what Federer’s odds were in 2009 when no one saw the Nadal upset (Sunday Bloody Sunday) to Soderling coming.  We’ve said for a few weeks that Andy Murray would surprise on clay this year, and we think he looks pretty good.  He was only a few points from beating Nadal in Monte Carlo and Djokovic in Rome.

A few other notable items strike us.  Milos Raonic, who hasn’t done much on clay aside from one semi-final in Estoril (7-5 match record on clay), is being shown a modicum of respect by Caesar’s, no doubt due to his meteoric rise in the game (world # 28).  “America’s best”, Mardy Fish, not a typical clay courter, got no play in these odds.  Sam Querrey (world # 26) also got no play, and that the steadily dropping John Isner, who has won, we believe 1 match only at RG in his career, has the same odds as Andy Roddick, bodes poorly for them both.

There are only five major champions listed above (Roddick, Djokovic, Ferrero, Federer, Nadal).  Of those, only Federer, Nadal, and Ferrero have won RG.  Fernando Gonzalez, a few points from the final against Roger in 09, was listed, no doubt because of that showing and because he is one of the few men around who has beaten Nadal on clay.

There are many Frenchmen listed, and we’d have to say former semi-finalist Gael Monfils, despite commitment issues, does has the game to win here, and probably only here.  We thought Dolgopolov’s scrambling style would translate to clay, but so far it has not.  Ferrer, an excellent clay courter, has been given some respect despite beating Nadal only once on clay way back in 04.  But Ferrer has beaten Nadal at multiple majors, as has Andy Murray, and that’s not something that even Roger Federer can boast of.

We aren’t going to go crazy for Almagro, a fine clay courter, but one who matches up horribly with Nadal’s heavy spin.  When the “dream matchup” finally came off between them a few years back at RG, it was no contest.

You know we love Gasquet, but not in this spot.  Check back with us at Wimbledon.  And we’ve liked Thomaz Bellucci on clay for a few seasons now, and see him as being a handful for anyone.  We’re sure that the top guys will be looking closely at their draw sheets for his name tomorrow night.

In the big picture, we are adopting our “anyone but Rafa” approach to rooting philosophy.  This is a crucial major for Rafa in his pursuit of Roger, because if things are different at Roland Garros, then we don’t see Rafa getting too many more than the 9 majors he already has.  Betting is a different story.  Pre-tournament?  Let us say again how we think Roger, Murray, and the Big Swede are excellent bets.  And as a very long shot, we’ll take Wawrinka.  He’s a gritty clay courter, and very comfortable on the surface.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Fabio Fognini (above), who took out Gael Monfils in Paris in the match famously marred by darkness, led a day of upsets for seeded players on both sides at Wimbledon.



Fognini, never past the 2nd round at SW-19, took out 8th seeded Fernando Verdasco, 7-6 (9), 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-4 and will now draw Michael Russell of the United States, in what is sure to be a very boring grass court contest, as neither player is suited to the grass.

Another Italian, pop gun player Andreas Seppi, somehow took out another seeded Spaniard, defeating 19th seeded Nicolas Almagro in straights, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7), 6-2.  It’s getting to the point where Almagro is going to have to come up with better play at the majors, as we can hardly recall Almagro winning a big match on a decent stage.

Bad day for Spaniards, as one more seeded Spaniard fell–former French champ Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 14th seed, lost to Xavier Malisse in 5 sets, 6-2, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-1.

Lukas Lacko took out 24th seeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, a one time semi-finalist at Wimbledon, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

On the women’s side, French finalist and 6th seed, Sam Stosur was upset by Estonian Kaia Kanepi, 6-4, 6-4.

Anna Chakvetadze, back from the dead, upset German Andrea Petkovic, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Roumanian Monica Niculescu upset Argentine Gisela Dulko, 6-2, 6-3.

Dominika Cibulkova defeated the very hot 25th seed, Lucie Safarova, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Robby Ginepri–the pride of America?  He is today, after stunning 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero in 5 sets earlier today at Roland Garros.  It isn’t as though Ginepri hasn’t had some success on the big stage.  Ginepri advanced to the semi-finals of the US Open in 2005, where the dream run was ended by Andre Agassi.  Ginepri has also made the round of 16 at Wimbledon, the Australian, and now the French Open twice (2008, 2010).

But Ginepri, 98th in the world last Monday, did drop off the face of the earth after climbing to # 15 in the world in 2005.  His game has improved dramatically since Jose Higueras, one time coach of Roger Federer (Higueras coached Federer and Ginepri simultaneously) and long time coach of Jim Courier, took over in 2008.  Though Ginepri hasn’t seen a great improvement in his ranking–yet.  Check out the match stats from Ginepri-JCF today, which Ginepri won after winning the first two sets, and then dropping the next two, before rallying to take the match in the fifth set.

Ferrero (ESP)   Ginepri (USA)
  1st Serve % 107 of 140 = 76 % 106 of 152 = 70 %
  Aces 5 5
  Double Faults 1 2
  Unforced Errors 46 51
  Winning % on 1st Serve 66 of 107 = 62 % 62 of 106 = 58 %
  Winning % on 2nd Serve 19 of 32 = 59 % 28 of 44 = 64 %
  Winners (Including Service) 33 43
  Receiving Points Won 62 of 152 = 41 % 55 of 140 = 39 %
  Break Point Conversions 7 of 15 = 47 % 7 of 12 = 58 %
  Net Approaches 11 of 16 = 69 % 9 of 17 = 53 %
  Total Points Won 147 145
   Fastest Serve Speed 193 KMH 197 KMH
   Average 1st Serve Speed 168 KMH 172 KMH
   Average 2nd Serve Speed 145 KMH 139 KMH

Even if Ginepri loses to 3rd seed Novak Djokovic in the next round, he should jump up the rankings.  Ginepri, the ultimate grinder, out grinded a major champion today.  Can he do it again on Monday?  That remains to be seen.  Still, Ginepri has had the most successful 2010 French Open of any American male, and is the only American left in the men’s draw.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Bob and Mike Bryan in Paris (above).

The upstart Brazilian team of Marcelo Melo and Ben Soares stunned the top seeded men’s pair, Bob and Mike Bryan, 6-3, 7-6 (6), this morning at roland Garros in 1 hour and 17 minutes.


There was only one break of serve in the tightly contested match, which went to Melo and Soares.  The American pair may now have to watch arch rivals Nestor and Zimonjic take the title.  The 2nd seeded pair won their match this morning 6-1, 6-4, and now become overwhelming favorites to take the title in Paris.

It’s been a bad day for American men in Paris, despite Robby Ginepri leading Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 3-4 in what has been a surprise so far today.


Andy Roddick (above), exits court.

Sixth seed Andy Roddick was upset by Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili in the 3rd round of the French Open this morning, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in just one hour and 54 minutes.  Roddick was beaten soundly, and the loss could be chalked up to 2 ctirical areas, 2nd serve, and receiving points.

Teimuraz Gabashvili won an astounding 29/39 points on 2nd serve (74 %) to Andy’s 12/24 (50%).  Roddick only won 21 of 86 points when returning, for 24 %, and he struckk only 14 winners in the match.

All credit to the winner, but Roddick played horribly and deserved to lose.  The lone American remaining in the men’s field is now Robby Ginepri, who will take on clay ace Juan Carlos Ferrero today.  Yesterday both Mardy Fish and John Isner were eliminated the competiton–Fish in a tight 5 setter that went 10-8 in the fifth, and Isner, who was demolished by 15th seeded Czech Tomas Berdych.

Roddick should fare much better at Wimbledon, where he reached the final last year, losing to Roger Federer 16-14 in the fifth set.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Court Philippe Chatrier


(1) Serena vs. (29) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

(15) Arevane Rezai and (19) Nadia Petrova to complete their suspended match, picking up at 7-7 in the 3rd.  We know that Venus Williams will be pulling hard for Petrova, because Rezai smoked Venus in the Madrid final, and comes into Roland Garros at # 19 in the world, up 25 spots from # 44, where she ended 2009.  Rezai was playing average tennis, but caught fire in Madrid, and has now won 8 straight matches to raise her record in 2010 to 18-11.

(31) Victor Hanescu vs. (3) Novak Djokovic

(28) Lleyton Hewitt vs. (2) Rafael Nadal…the 2 major champions will meet at Roland Garros for the 3rd time in 4 years.  Hewitt, who is 4-5 lifetime versus Nadal got totally dusted by Rafa last year in the 3rd round, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.  The last time Hewitt beat Rafa was at Queens Club in 2006 in a match where Nadal retired after the 2nd set.  Otherwise, Hewitt’s last victory over Nadal was way back in 2005, but this is a marquee matchup nontheless.

(12) Sharapova vs. (22) Henin…Sharapova is playing on her worst surface, and the clay is slowing down her already vulnerable serve, while Henin has looked really good in her comeback on the dirt so far.  Both players are confident, coming in each with tournament victories, but Sharapova will not be able to blow Henin off the court with big serves and forehands as she has done on hards on the big stages in Flushing and Melbourne.  Henin is 6-3 vs. Maria lifetime and has never lost to her on clay.

Court Suzanne Lenglen


(6) Dandy Andy vs Teimuraz Gabashvili…with a win, Roddick equals his career best at Roland Garros–his trip to the 4th round last year.  Roddick may have to play a near impossible opponent in the round of 16–clay court specialist David Ferrer.  A tall order.  It would be interesting to see that match come off, as a gauge for Roddick, who has improved greatly under his superb coach, Larry Stefanki.

(18) Shahar Peer vs. (13) Marion Bartoli…the hope of a nation, Israel’s Shahar Peer, takes on the unorthodox French woman, Marion Bartoli, who is the highest ranked player in the men’s or women’s game, and one of the only, who hits with 2 hands on both sides.  The clay should benefit Bartoli’s 2-handed style, giving her more time to set up her shots, but Bartoli is plagued by weight issues, which would detract from her ability to have success on a clay court.  Peer leads the head to head 6-2, and has a victory over Bartoli at the French Open (2005).

(7) Verdasco vs. (30) Kohlschreiber…we love Kohlschreiber’s one hand backhand and fluid game, and he has shown the ability to slay giants on the big stage, defeating Andy Roddick in Melbourne in 2008 and Djokovic here last year.  Verdasco is the clear favorite on paper, but Kohlschreiber is an excellent clay courter in his own right.  He destroyed David Ferrer at the World Team Championships in Germany on red clay, 6-0, 6-1 in 2008.

(4) Jelena Jankovic vs. (27) Alona Bondarenko…I’ll say it.  I can’t stand Jankovic.  I hate her game.  She has a terrible serve, and is too busy playing every tournament she can to actually practice the shot.  So all her matches are these break laden, moon ball fests, and it pains me that she is a top player.  But notice how she has hovered around the top 5, and has logged weeks at # 1, and has never won a singles major.  Because eventually, in a major, you are going to play somebody who can handle a 67 MPH second serve.  Will she finally get on the board and win a major, or will she never?  I’m going to vote never.  In tennis, you are only as good as your second serve.

Other notable matches…


(22) Jurgen Melzer vs. (9) David Ferrer…wouldn’t Roddick love an upset here?  You know what?  It’s possible.  Melzer is no quit player, and a very good clay courter in his own right.  Put it this way: if Ferrer mauls Melzer, Andy’s in big trouble.

(16) JCF vs. Robby Ginepri (USA)…Ferrero is one of the best clay courters around and also, a former French champion.  at one point this year, he had a 17 match win streak on clay.  Ginepri shows up to this one already happy, but for a horrible, boring, bland grinder, he’s done a lot with his game since coach Jose Higueras resurrected his career.  I think Ginepri could play well tomorrow, and I will root for him, though he is probably my least favorite American.

(1) Bryan bros vs. Melo/Soares (Brazil)…ddon’t know much about Soares, but Marcelo Melo is a pretty decent doubles player, especially on clay.  The Bryans have played extremely well of late.  But nothing would surprise me.

(23) Hantuchova vs. (16) Wickmayer…Hantuchova has had a very disappointing career in my mind, for a talented, and pretty girl.  She was a top ten player for along time, but has only won 3 tournaments in her career, and she’s 27.  I’d like to see Wickmayer, a tall girl with a big arsenal to out slug DH.

(14) Ivan Ljubicic vs. (24) Tomaz Bellucci…Ljubicic is back from the dead, resurrected by legendary Aussie Bob Brett, but he just got finished with a 2 day marathon with an extended 5th set vs. Mardy Fish.  Bellucci has the legs and the classic retriever’s game.  I like the Brazilian.

(1) Serena/Venus vs. Hantuchova/Wozniacki…this matchup features one player on each team who has a match earlier in the day (Serena, Hantuchova).  That’s old time tennis.  Venus and Serena are pissed they didn’t win the Frenchh last year, and if they win it this year, they will have won four straight majors.  A win tomorrow would give them 21 straight match wins in majors.

Enjoy your tennis (even though it’s clay),

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)