Press is starting to trickle in about Indian Wells. Most of it seems to be about Roger’s return to the game and the premature salivating over a Rafa/Roger final. Somethings never seem to change, no?
“I love playing matches against him, especially those five-setters, seeing if I can hang with him physically without a problem,” Federer told reporters on Wednesday.
Maybe he should worry more about hanging in with him mentally.
Semifinals: Nadal d. Roddick; Murray d. Federer
Final: If this is indeed the final—a big if, as always—it will be a battle between a guy coming in on a mini-roll, Nadal, and the guy who, judging from their final in Rotterdam, knows how to play him right now. Unlike Federer, Murray has no trouble getting the ball into Nadal’s backhand, and Murray’s own two-hander is a serious weapon when he’s returning Nadal’s lefty serve, which spins in that direction. Still, you bet against Rafa at your peril these days.
Champion: Rafael Nadal
The theme of the top section–aside from Nadal–is extremely talented players who sometimes put it all together, and other times do nothing of the sort. Nadal should be able to cruise into the fourth round of this first Masters Series event of the season in Indian Wells.
Rafael Nadal is the top seed and given his Davis Cup performance and his Australian Open win, it’s hard to not make the former champ the favorite. His draw is tricky, however. The flaky California kid, Dmitry Tursunov, will likely be waiting for the Spaniard in round three, and the remerging Tomas Berdych in the fourth round. Both players I think have the game to do in Rafa, but do they have the head?