Monte-Carlo 2010 Quarter Final Previews

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit:mirsasha

The 2010 Monte Carlo Open main draw singles matches are now up to the quarter finals. Today for the 2nd time OCA will update the scores on this post as they occur. Coverage of today’s results, who OCA predicts to win and an insight into what happens in the quarter final matches, will be updated on this post.

Pictured above is 28 year old David Ferrer playing a forehand ground stroke. Ferrer is captured after making contact with the ball as he is continuing his swing. The Spaniard has made 3 semi finals in ATP Masters 1000 events to date – the Miami Open in 2005-06 and the Rome Open in 2005. The 1.75m former World No.4 will be looking to achieve his best career result at Monte-Carlo after making the quarter finals 4 times before this year (in 2005-08).

The 26 year old Philipp Kohlschreiber trails 3 wins to 4 in his previous matches against Ferrer. The 1.78m German Kohlschreiber has achieved his best result at Monte-Carlo this year, by making the quarter finals, whooping No.3 seed Andy Murray along the way.

Kohlschreiber also made the quarter final of one other Masters 1000 event at the Cincinnati Open in 2008. He is playing well enough to snap Ferrer’s streak of 2 wins in a row against him, but will have the pressure of his first possible semi final appearance at a Masters event to deal with. Prediction: Ferrer

In the 2nd semi final Rafael Nadal goes in leading 6-2 in head to head battles with Juan Carlos Ferrero. Ferrero won their last match, which was on clay at the 2008 Rome Open. The past 4 matches have been split with 2 wins each, so today will set the tempo for who will take control of their battles at the beginning of the clay court season. The 4 wins to Nadal prior to that all took place in 2005.

The 30 year old Ferrero won Monte-Carlo in 2002 & 2003. The 1.83m former World No.1 did not play Monte-Carlo last year. His quarter final or better result will add to his already impressive return to the top of the game. The 2003 Roland Garros champion will be trying to break Nadal’s winning streak in Monte-Carlo. Ferrero has the most match wins on the ATP Tour this year on clay, boasting a 17-1 record.

Between the two of them they have won Monte-Carlo for 7 of the past 8 years. The 23 year old Nadal is a 6 time Grand Slam singles champion and was the past 5 Monte-Carlo titles. Prediction: Ferrero.

In the 3rd quarter final 22 year old Djokovic goes in with a 2-1 lead in head to head battles with David Nalbandian. Djokovic, the 2008 Australian Open champion, looks to be regaining his form and has a distinct advantage given that this match is on clay. Nalbandian is capable of beating any player, however his fitness and court movement serves him far better when he is playing on faster surfaces where the points are shorter. The 28 year old Nalbandian cannot hide his less than optimal fitness and court movement on the European clay courts.

Djokovic posted his best result in Monte-Carlo last year by making the final. This year his aim is to win another Grand Slam title and take over the World No.1 ranking. Nalbandian is now playing his 3rd quarter final at Monte-Carlo and will desperately be trying to reverse the last result against Djokovic where he lost 6-1, 6-0 on grass at Queens Club. Given his return from right hip surgery and because he did not play after Estoril in early May last year, Nalbandian probably won’t have the condition to do the running and moving that the World No.2 will be trying to promote at every opportunity. Prediction: Djokovic.

In the 4th quarter final 29 year old Albert Montanes goes in having lost all 3 matches to Fernando Verdasco that they have played. The 1.75m Montanes has achieved his best result at Monte-Carlo, already advancing one round further than he did last year. Montanes seems to be reaching a career peak, so will have his best chance yet to beat his heavily favoured opponent.

Montanes has made one other quarter final in the Masters 1000 events, at the 2008 Hamburg Open and has won all 3 of his ATP titles (all on clay) in the past 2 years. The late bloomer upset No.4 seed Marin Cilic in straight sets in the round of 16 to move within 1 win of achieving his career high ranking, which will be a huge motivation for him to break Verdasco’s streak.

Verdasco has a streak of his own to break, which has been somewhat of hoodoo for him. The 26 year old left hander has lost every quarter final in Masters 1000 tournaments that he has played. The 1.88m semi finalist at the 2009 Australian Open will be burdened with those experiences and feel the weight of expectation to win, especially given that his opponent is ranked below him. He is definitely playing well enough to advance, but his 9 previous losses in Masters 1000 quarter finals will present him with a mental hurdle that he will need to challenge himself to overcome. Prediction: Montanes.

All of the quarter final matches will be completed by the end of play on Friday 16 April. Unless of course, rain disrupts play. The player’s names listed below that DO NOT have a country next to their name are all from Spain.

The order of play:

All of the quarter final matches will be played on Court Central. There is normally a 10 minute break between the completion of one match and the commencement of the next match. The matches listed to be played on Court Central beginning with match No.1 at 10:30am local time in Monte-Carlo are:

  1. (11) David  Ferrer d. Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany) 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) in 2 hours.
  2. (2) Rafael Nadal d. (9) Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-2 in 2 hours 17 mins.
  3. (1) Novak Djokovic (Serbia) d. (SE) David Nalbandian (Argentina) 6-2, 6-3 in 1 hour 19 mins.
  4. (6) Fernando Verdasco d. Albert Montanes 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-0 in 2 hours 6 mins.

The Semi Final Draw to be played tomorrow from 1:30pm is:

  1. (11) David Ferrer versus (2) Rafael Nadal
  2. (1) Djokovic versus (6) Fernando Verdasco

Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information about Monte-Carlo. Click this link for more details including the Schedule of Play -> Monte-Carlo 2010: April 10-18.

Today’s POST is dedicated to Conchita Martinez. Martinez was born on this day in 1972 and won 1 Grand Slam singles titles. The Spaniard won the 1994 Wimbledon Championship. She first achieved her highest career ranking of World No.2 on 30 October 1995.

© 2010

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