MC: Singles draw

Photo by REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

The Monte-Carlo singles draw was announced while I was busy catching up on sleep. As the #2 seed, Rafa is back in a familiar position in the draw – bottom half, bottom quarter. For his first match (after his first round bye), he’ll face either a qualifier or Schwank (who was recently slapped with a fine for “erratic play” in the Houston tournament). Rafa is not in the doubles draw.

Seeds in Rafa’s quarter are Tsonga, Ferrero, and Monaco. Seeds in his half include Ljubicic, Ferrer, Melzer, and Murray. Seeds in the top half of the draw include Djokovic, Wawrinka, Robredo, Youzhny, Cilic, Baghdatis, Berdych, and Verdasco.

Photos from the draw ceremony can be found here (thanks @loltennis).

46 Responses

  1. Ch F says:

    Good draw or bad draw, we know nothing about the state of Rafa’s knees, and that’s the most important thing. There’s no difficult draw for Rafa on clay, as long as he’s healthy and mentally present. If those conditions are met any draw will do, so that’s what I’m hoping for right now!

  2. miri says:

    Added a link to some draw ceremony photos.

  3. dk says:

    Exactly as “Ch F” says, I would rather know about the state of his knees than the draw. If he is supposed to be the King of Clay, who is in his draw is secondary (though thanks for the update about it).

    • CC says:

      Rafa’s knees are what they are, not much to know, I guess.
      By the look of those photos though, Rafa’s ARMS are just miiighty fine. Jay-sus.

      Oh, and the draw is the draw, just like the knees are…the knees. Not much to say for me. Although “erratic play” sounds like fun! ;)

      • faeaki7 says:

        Agreed, those arms *sighs*, Rafa is looking mighty cuddly here, super pics Miri, thanks!!! if I was to pick a dangerous opponent in the draw it would be Monaco, he is a toughy on the red dirt, not for a healthy Rafa but lately I am nervous always, again *sighs*

      • An says:

        Yeah, lets just wait and see how all rolls out and enjoy watching Rafa play and support him, come what may!
        I will try and accept evrything that is going to happen with “colm” and pray for Rafa happy and healthy evry day:)

        And the arms….. Oh that arms….. Just to be able to lay down in those arms once…*sigh*

        • Nana says:

          “I will try and accept evrything that is going to happen with “colm” and pray for Rafa happy and healthy evry day:)

          Yes that’s how I’m gonna “approach” the coming weeks too. And yes, “pray”!

          Went to yoga just now and as I wound down to the final “corpse pose”, Rafa entered my mind! Hahaha… I really should’ve been meditating or emptied my mind but… anyway, i felt colm and peaceful and a lot of positive energy. I’m sure he’s feeling the same!

          • Alix says:

            Oh, if Rafa entered your mind while doing yoga, then I think you actually succeeded with your meditation and reached a higher state of conciousness :)

            And if Rafa plays against Pico…well that would be a cool match I’d really like to see *holding thumbs up*

  4. tiemyshoe says:

    Why bring up the knees in a post about the draw? *shrug*

    Dubs draw up; Rafa’s not playing. Marc! teaming up with Ferrer for an all-Spanish match against Team Metrosexual in the first round – I wish I could see that!

    • sia says:

      Holy sexy smoke fest!! These TV networks no nothing … these are the kind of matches that SELL tennis. You know the boys watch to watch just as much as the girls do. ;)

    • miri says:

      For me, no doubles could mean knee worries. Rafa often plays doubles when there’s a surfrace change. So, I admit to wondering what’s up.

      I also admit to almost checking last minute air-fare to Monte-Carlo so I could catch that doubles match. ;)

      • sia says:

        boys want to watch … silly day
        speaking of doubles thanks for the link to Rafa and Marc! match … guess what I did this evening.

      • tiemyshoe says:

        I hope no dubs means that Rafa’s taking a serious view of saving energy during the clay season, but I’m not sure. Apparently, he trained for two hours on his first day, and that kind of practicing can’t be any easier than doubles.

        Or maybe he got spurned by the higher-ranked doubles specialist Marc!? Hehe.

        • sia says:

          Could be, as Marc! has just beaten Verdasco/Lopez with another of his many doubles partners … someone named David Ferrer.

      • Emma says:

        I think Rafa had also mentioned previously that he tends to play doubles if there is a day in between matches as that will give him some practice time too, in addition to getting in more match play. so I think there’s nothing to worry about here, at least not more than usual.

        • Ch F says:

          I agree with you and tiemyshoe. I’m not excluding a knee problem but had Rafa played doubles I’d be up in arms wondering why. He’s saving himself and that’s a good thing.
          Please tennis gods, protect Rafa on his favourite surface, he’s worked so hard to be there.

  5. slt says:

    Did anyone catch what his shirt said. I couldn’t figure out what the last word was.

    • teejustice says:

      I think it says “nobody trains to back up the back up…just do it” ??

    • robert says:

      It says NOBODY TRAINS TO BACKUP THE BACKUP – JUST DO IT.

      The backup position in team sports is a replacement player, the second best for a position (for example, backup quarterback in US football).

      So, if you’re highly competitive, you wouldn’t want to be a replacement for the replacement, you train to be the first team, the starter.

  6. Atch2 says:

    Bring on the clay. Finally.

    I’m going to believe that he’s not playg dubs bec he’s being cautious.

    So many beautiful pics of Rafa in tshirt & jeans amongst the suits. Luv pouty, bored Rafa in the front row & closeups of snuggly Rafa in the tshirt showg those arms. And way too many pics of women with their arms around Rafa .

  7. Nana says:

    Looking forward to the clay season, rafa playing good tennis with good knees. And the time zone is kinder to me =)

  8. dk says:

    The Monte Carlo (will it be 6 in a row?) poll on the right of this webpage currently shows that a good chunk of Rafa’s fans are concerned about his knees (for those who may not be).

  9. Nic says:

    My oh my what a hunk. Those arms, they do things to me. I wish! Sigh. Just in a grey t shirt and jeans and I’m all bothered. Rafa doesn’t need to be adorned with anything fanciful to make him gorgeous. He just IS. And then those dimples turn up at the slightest smile. Gawd I love him!!! Hahaha. Ok I’m delirious.

    • Emma R says:

      I know, those close ups of Rafa with folded arms are just edible, and I feel quite light headed. Never mind what erratic play, Rafa ought to be warned for erotic play! He always seems to twinkle with good humour as well.

      I just hope to Christ his bloody knees are OK. I am afraid that I am suspicious of him suddenly not playing doubles at the first tournament of the clay season. I guess we’ll see.

  10. aRafaelite says:

    Could have been much worse… feeling sorry for Tommy Robredo, tough eighth! I HAVE to believe that Rafa can get through this. Rankings aside, he needs to get at least one title under his belt before RG-Queens-Wimbly. So I can be with colm. Please, Tennis Gods, give our boy a break. No more tooth or knee problems.

    Monaco could be a problem because of the friend factor. If Rafa comes through that I think he’ll make it through to the final. After Miami, I’m probably not as worried about Tsonga as I should be. JCF could be a challenge, but one he should come through. And of the other quarter, I would think Daviiid would surely come through on clay, although Ljuby could surprise us, and Murray might now be getting pissed enough to fight his way through. Or not. I’d love a Rafole or RaFer final and a good scrappy but decisive win. I hope my nerves hold up. Vamos Rafito!

    • aRafaelite says:

      Damn it, he still looks he’s got a tooth-ache rather than regular grumpy face in some of those photos. :-(

  11. Lou Lou says:

    CLAY SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. dekomusic says:

    I am in Monte Carlo and he looks great. He is hitting the ball like no one else believe me. You can check some videos i have uploaded on you tube with him practicing.

    Here are the links:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI8chRYPJtY&feature=channel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPKatP3JNdM&feature=channel

    • miri says:

      Thanks! (And sorry you were trapped in the spam filter for awhile.)

    • Atch2 says:

      That 5+mins of serve practice reminds me how patient, dedicated and disciplined Rafa is bec he’s always looking to improve all aspects of his game.

      Luv Maymo the ballboy.

  13. Marilyn Wasserman says:

    Drat, Rafa’s first match isn’t until tomorrow (Weds). That means he’ll be playing five days in a row! Don’t those guys who run the tournament realize that we need an occasional day off?!?

    • Atch2 says:

      I know how you feel. I’m on a long weekend until Wed and was hoping to watch Rafa on Mon or Tues and then get some rest inbetween. Feeling so Rafa starved now.

  14. An says:

    Rafa is playing Thiemo de Bakker ( from the Netherlands :D ) tomorrow… He has won Wimbledon as a junior ( i think in 2006 ).
    I hope they are going to play a good match but off course i hope Rafa wins! VAMOS!

    • An says:

      A friend to Thiemo de Bakker on Twitter yesterday:

      “Nice win! And youre next opponent, is he capable off something on clay?”
      Thiemo: “Apperently, yes! Maybe you have soms tips for me?”
      Friend: “It seems he’s an average mover and hits all balls flat:)”

      HAH!

      • CC says:

        Heh. Who knows what will happen.

        But yes, I really hope Rafa wins today! I won’t be able to watch, so VAMOS in my absence, Rafa!

        • An says:

          I’ll be watching, it doesn’t happen that often that a dutch guy plays Rafa….

          I’ll VAMOS Rafa in youre abscence;)

          • CC says:

            No, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Dutch tennis player, so shame I can’t watch.

            Please *vamos* Rafa from me, An and call him a *fat-arsed, Mallorcan fool*, if he doesn’t play well! :D

            • An says:

              Ok! But i do hope that i don’t have to call him that so that will mean he plays “his best tennis”:)

  15. Atch2 says:

    Watched a bit of the Nando/Bennateau match today. Saw Uncle Toni in the crowd. Was hoping to see Rafa too.

    • Marilyn Wasserman says:

      Tio Toni must be doing some serious scouting! I saw him at the Tsonga-Almagro match today.

  16. samson says:

    I can assure you of one thing: Nadal will NOT be dominating them all at monte carlo, barcelona, and rome. Some matches will turn into huge struggles. he will just have to find a way to win anyway. This is an unfortunately corollary of his injury in the last year, where he permanently damaged his knees. The difference in his speed and explosiveness, today, compared to 2 years ago is like night and day. He’s slower to take off and cannot push of his right leg and arrives late for his backhand most of the time (which is why that shot has declined heavily)

    That is not just my opinion. Lots of true insiders are saying the same thing. And you dont need experts anyway. There is another way to figure out what is happening. its called “content analysis” and that means that you dont have to depend on anybody`s opinion. one can study the trends in place and form solid opinions and forecasts on his/her own. Content analysis means that whatever is going to happen is happening already in very small contents and the evidence can be found everywhere if one has the inclination to look and study. it can be found in news articles and it can be found in cold hard evidence that is transpiring right before one`s eyes.

    Nadal is not the same. only the homeless bag ladies would say that he is going to dominate the planet once again and I usually dont stop on the side of the road to ask them anyway.The fact is that a very keen eye would suggest that he actually struggled even on clay last year and as early as in monte carlo. Sure he won monte carlo, barcelona, and rome but he had to struggle a little bit.

    It took him 4 hours to derail djokovic in madrid for instance. I saw even as early as monte carlo that his speed and his movement had taken a hit. what followed after madrid was the obvious. He was in way too much pain and he really could not push off his right leg confidently.

    Its no wonder he crashed out of roland garros early and had to sit out of wimbledon altogether. I know he is going to struggle because he has been struggling for a year. it is NOT going to change overnight at monte carlo.

    He will win monte carlo but it is still going to be a lot of work. he will not be able to dominate easily. ferrero match may prove to be quite tough this time around. and murray will challenge him later. He may face djokovic or berdych in the final and that is not going to be easy either this time around. The key for Nadal will be to cut his losses and arrive healthy in RG 2010.