Qatar ExxonMobil Open - Doha - January 4th to 10th

Who will win their first ATP title of 2010?


  • Total voters
    118
  • Poll closed .

inthemisosoup

Semi-Pro
anybody has the order of play for tomorrow??? i'm going to take a look and try to find it, but by all means if someone beats me to it . . . :D

i think rafa has a better chance of getting to the final than fed so i voted for him . . . not sure which is "in better form," but would love to see them both make it anyway. it's been awhile.

i'm so excited january is finally here!! another exciting year awaits
 

cucio

Legend
If only Andre Agassi could take some of the money he invests in his school, and use it to get a real Tennis Channel going....that would really make the world a better place. :D
Absolutely. Someone should talk up to Andre and set his priorities straight.

I concur with the sentiment that we are due some RnR action. It's been a while.
 

TheMusicLover

G.O.A.T.
WOW I'm looking forward to this tournament, hoping for a final between my two fav players - it seems do-able for both of them, though Feds has a more difficult route to that final than Nadal, so much is obvious - Nads truly has a 'cakewalk draw', the only one that I can see giving him a slight bit of trouble is Youhzny. Feds in contrary has Karlovic & Davydenko, and both of them are very capable of beating him in case Feds is still in 'exho mode'.

Good post. I really don't understand why he wants to play Rotterdam. It's hell on his knees, is a smallish tournament and it comes basically from nowhere juxtaposed b/w the AO and the American pre clay HC season. Rotterdam is where Rafa's problems started last yr. Richard Krajicek must be after Rafa again..
Yeah, playing Rotterdam really is a silly idea... but maybe that 7-digits appearance fee (I'm not joking here, it's a well-known 'secret' over here) tastes very good indeed.
I hope he'll come to his senses and skip it!

which TV channel is covering this event ?
In Europe: Eurosport. :)
 

TennisFan3

G.O.A.T.
WOW I'm looking forward to this tournament, hoping for a final between my two fav players - it seems do-able for both of them, though Feds has a more difficult route to that final than Nadal, so much is obvious - Nads truly has a 'cakewalk draw', the only one that I can see giving him a slight bit of trouble is Youhzny. Feds in contrary has Karlovic & Davydenko, and both of them are very capable of beating him in case Feds is still in 'exho mode'.
Unfortunately, Rafa seems to get cupcake draws in only these smallish mickey mouse tourneys. I hope he can get a break during the slams. In particular having Delpo in the other half for the AO and UsOpen would be a good start :)

Yeah, playing Rotterdam really is a silly idea... but maybe that 7-digits appearance fee (I'm not joking here, it's a well-known 'secret' over here) tastes very good indeed.
I hope he'll come to his senses and skip it!
Wow! 7 digits appearance fee is ridiculous! I had no idea that they would get that kind of money for a small ATP event. Anyway, nothing against Rotterdam which is a nice place, but I happen to think that Rafa should limit his hardcourt calender to make sure that he can give it his best on clay and grass where he has more chances than the others.
 

Outbeyond

Legend
Here's the Order of Play for Monday, 1/4/10:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2010/451/op.pdf

No one I follow is in the roster tomorrow, but Gulbis and Montanes and Youzhny are there. My guess is livescorehunter will be showing Doha matches in live stream once Fed and Nadal et al start playing. Maybe that'll be Tuesday?

Oh, but wait: just found a live stream site that will carry some links for Doha tomorrow:

www.myP2P.eu/competition.php?competitionid=&part=sports&discipline=tennis

I've no idea how good the links will be, but it'll be worth trying them.
 
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TheMusicLover

G.O.A.T.
Unfortunately, Rafa seems to get cupcake draws in only these smallish mickey mouse tourneys. I hope he can get a break during the slams. In particular having Delpo in the other half for the AO and UsOpen would be a good start :)
That's not true, Rafa has had his share of easier draws in slams too. Remember Wimbledon 2006?
When you check it out over the course of time, any player gets his share of easier and harder draws - it's called a 'draw', hence, dependent on luck, for a reason.

Wow! 7 digits appearance fee is ridiculous! I had no idea that they would get that kind of money for a small ATP event. Anyway, nothing against Rotterdam which is a nice place, but I happen to think that Rafa should limit his hardcourt calender to make sure that he can give it his best on clay and grass where he has more chances than the others.
Yep... to be exact, 995.000 euros, which is 7-digits in dollars. To be fair, Feds would ask/get around the same amount. So now you know why they'll never be BOTH appearing in Rotterdam at the same time. ABN AMRO would indeed fall over in that case. ;)

I fully agree with you.
 

TennisFan3

G.O.A.T.
That's not true, Rafa has had his share of easier draws in slams too. Remember Wimbledon 2006?
When you check it out over the course of time, any player gets his share of easier and harder draws - it's called a 'd raw', hence, dependent on luck, for a reason.
While I agree that a draw is random, but Rafa has this propensity of coming on wrong side of the scheduling and draws in the slams. Think Wimb 2007 (and the 5 day match against Soderling) ; UsO 2008 SF; AO 2009 etc some instances where Rafa has been unlucky with the scheduling and come undone. W.r.t draws too in Rolland Garros, Djokovic and Nadal have been in the same half a couple of times whereas Federer and Djokovic have never played a SemiFinal at the French Open. Which is why one could have made the case just "before" the French Open this year that Djokovic was the #2 player on clay.
That said, I agree with Wimb 06. That was a cupcake. But in Rafa's defense, he was a cub then, and needed an easy draw! Fed's had his share too especially at the USopen over the years where he faced several opponents out of the top 100. Even at UsOpen 2009 his draw was one of the easier slam draws.

Yep... to be exact, 995.000 euros, which is 7-digits in dollars. To be fair, Feds would ask/get around the same amount. So now you know why they'll never be BOTH appearing in Rotterdam at the same time. ABN AMRO would indeed fall over in that case. ;)
Wow! Thanks for the info. That's some serious dough. Knees be damned! I won't be giving Rafa any grief for going to Rotterdam again!
 
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TheMusicLover

G.O.A.T.
While I agree that a draw is random, but Rafa has this propensity of coming on wrong side of the scheduling and draws in the slams. Think Wimb 2007 (and the 5 day match against Soderling) ; UsO 2008 SF; AO 2009 etc some instances where Rafa has been unlucky with the scheduling and come undone. W.r.t draws too in Rolland Garros, Djokovic and Nadal have been in the same half a couple of times whereas Federer and Djokovic have never played a SemiFinal at the French Open. Which is why one could have made the case just "before" the French Open this year that Djokovic was the #2 player on clay.
So basically you're saying that whenever Nadal has struggled a bit in his matches, it's due to a difficult draw?
I well remember the times 'everyone' hoped Djokovic to be in their non-fav's half. A couple of months later it was Murray. Now it seems to be DelPotro. In a few months time, it might be Cilic. Or Söderling. Etc. etc.
Fact is: you'll have to beat all those fellows in front of you, whoever they are, and in later stages of a tournament, there are NO 'easy opponents', as they had to beat their opponents just the same. Hence, all of them are relatively good and in-from players.

That said, I agree with Wimb 06. That was a cupcake. But in Rafa's defense, he was a cub then, and needed an easy draw!
Eh yeah. So if someone is a debutant or otherwise a 'non-experienced' player, he 'deserves' and easy draw??? Pardon me, then I wonder why Federer, as a 20-year old cub, had the bad luck having to play Sampras in his 4rth round in Wimbledon back in 2001... ;)

Fed's had his share too especially at the USopen over the years where he faced several opponents out of the top 100. Even at UsOpen 2009 his draw was one of the easier slam draws.
Of course, that was my major point: that it goes both ways for every player.

Wow! Thanks for the info. That's some serious dough. Knees be damned! I won't be giving Rafa any grief for going to Rotterdam again!
LOL - dunno btw, I'd rather have healthy knees than that cash at such a young age. Those knees will have to carry him around for another next 60 years... and no money can buy you what's most important in life, namely your health.
 
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GOATPARERA

Banned
yeah, well.. Federer will make sure he drops out if he's not 100% fit. I'm not sure whether Rafa will do so, and whether Rafa is also doing enough prevention. I'm fine with him playing Doha, but he should stop having grueling 5 match weeks in which he plays with so much energy. It wouldn't be bad to have 3 relaxed matches here and tank the fourth, or skip some tournaments like Rotterdam, and maybe Barcelona or Rome (or Miami)
I think he should win Doha but tank Rotter!
 

cucio

Legend
^^ I guess he was being sarcastic. To win the tournament Davy would have likely to go through Dr. Ivo, Rog and Raf. The guys who have a really rotten draw are Rochus or, moreso, the qualifier that has to face Kolya in 1st round.
 

Blinkism

Legend
Interesting article looking at the Doha draw

http://www.tennistalk.com/en/blog/Ricky_Dimon/20100104/Approach_Shots:_Federer,_Nadal_kick_off_2010_ATP_Tour_season

Interesting point, from the article, "You can bet this will be the first AND last 250-point event of 2010 in which both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are present."

In their rivalry, they've played on every level on the ATP tour, but they've never played in an ATP 250 tournament. Doha is usually the only 250 they are both enrolled in at any time.
 

joeri888

G.O.A.T.
'm sure Nadal just packed his schedule as usual in case he needs to pick up points. If he's in form and can defend most of his points from this part of the season, I wouldn't be surprised to see him tank something like he did in Rome 2008....

edit- also, it looks like Nadal will be taking his defense of the doubles title in Doha a little more seriously than I thought he would. His partner, Marc Lopez, has withdrawn from the singles qualifying, despite bageling and breadsticking his first opponent.

Nadal/Lopez play Fyrstenberg/Matkowski first round. Good luck to the Spaniards!
That's the whole problem.. The usual goes wrong every year.Or maybe he isn't tired at the USO every year but just not good enough?
 

Blinkism

Legend
That's the whole problem.. The usual goes wrong every year.Or maybe he isn't tired at the USO every year but just not good enough?
Well, my point was that the main difference (aside from Nadal dropping a few tournaments from his schedule, which was good) is that he'll probably manage his schedule and his effort- that may result in him "tanking" a tourney or two, like he did in 2008 with Rome and skipping TMC + Davis Cup at the end of the year.
 

Rhino

Legend
Nadal is a lock for the final, looking at his draw. I just hope Federer can get past Davydenko. What a great way to start the year with a Fed vs Nadal final.
 

Blinkism

Legend
When is Nadal's first match? Anyone know?
That would be Mr.Bolleli from Italy.

Nadal's played him once, in Rotterdam '09. Beat him in 3 sets. Not mentally the strongest player.

edit: oops, misread your question. I thought it was "who is Nadal's first match?"
 
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TennisFan3

G.O.A.T.
Is that Nadal's first match in doubles or singles? Or is he playing both on Tuesday?
From what I had understood from the draw, Rafa's singles match is not on Monday and his doubles with Marc Lopez is on Monday. However Marc has withdrawn from the singles competition with a injury. So it's not clear whether Marc will play doubles with Rafa or if Rafa will look for another partner or if he'll withdraw.

In any case Rafa's singles match is likely to be on Tuesday since he's not got a bye.
 
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TennisFan3

G.O.A.T.
Eh yeah. So if someone is a debutant or otherwise a 'non-experienced' player, he 'deserves' and easy draw??? Pardon me, then I wonder why Federer, as a 20-year old cub, had the bad luck having to play Sampras in his 4rth round in Wimbledon back in 2001... ;)
I meant that on a lighter note, hence the reference to a cub for Rafa. I agree he was lucky in '06.

As an aside, to me it's still amazing how well Rafa played on clay even in 2006 when he was a kid. It's unfortunate that because of the inadequacies of Federer's contemporaries (Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, Haas etc) , the burden fell on Rafa's shoulders to challenge Roger and push himself, where as in normal circumstance Rafa should have been developing his game for a few more years.

LOL - dunno btw, I'd rather have healthy knees than that cash at such a young age. Those knees will have to carry him around for another next 60 years... and no money can buy you what's most important in life, namely your health.
I agree with you. I guess that's the thinking of the Nadal camp. They are very pragmatic and realize that Rafa has had many injuries over his career, and it may get over any day. Given that, they're trying to maximize the payoff when the iron is hot. Rafa himself has been saying that getting to the top of tennis is complicated with the increasing competition and that he will try for one more season. I don't really believe that he's in it for the long haul.
 

Outbeyond

Legend
From what I had understood from the draw, Rafa's singles match is not on Monday and his doubles with Marc Lopez is on Monday. However Marc has withdrawn from the singles competition with a injury. So it's not clear whether Marc will play doubles with Rafa or if Rafa will look for another partner or if he'll withdraw.

In any case Rafa's singles match is likely to be on Tuesday since he's not got a bye.
No, Nadal's not playing at all today (Monday). Here's the Order of Play for Doha for 1/4/10:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2010/451/op.pdf

We'll check out Order of Play later today to see if he's up tomorrow.
 

Blinkism

Legend
Youzhny and Stakhovsky on court.

Korolev and Vassalo-Arguello getting under way.

Davai Sergiy and Evgeny!!!
 

JankovicFan

Semi-Pro
More Gulbis nonsense. First he has to win a match, and then we can think about whether he deserves to be listed as a contender.
 

Blinkism

Legend
7-6(11)

First set for Stakhovsky.

Should have closed out the TB on the first chance, but he got it in the end.

Davai Sergiy!
 

Blinkism

Legend
I saw him play in Glasgow last year - thought he looked like he could do well.
Does he remind you of Ljubicic, as well? I like this guy's style and he's got a good attitude.

Was it a challenger in Glasgow?

O. Rochus def. A. Haijj 6-1 6-0 (niiice)
E. Korolev def. M. Vasello- Arguello 6-2 6-3
S. Stakovsky leads M. Youzhny 7-6 (11) yesssssss!!! 1:10 set
Excellent stuff from Evgeny. He's quickly rising up.. hopefully, the rankings will reflect this, eventually.

And what a beatdown from Rochus.

--
Ridiculous points to break serve from Stakhovsky!

7-6, 1-0 for the Ukrainian all-courter

:)
 
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Does he remind you of Ljubicic, as well? I like this guy's style and he's got a good attitude.

Was it a challenger in Glasgow?



Excellent stuff from Evgeny. He's quickly rising up.. hopefully, the rankings will reflect this, eventually.

And what a beatdown from Rochus.

--
Ridiculous points to break serve from Stakhovsky!

7-6, 1-0 for the Ukrainian all-courter

:)
I really, really like Rochus, but he needs to work on mental stregnth... Did you see him play Baggy in that final??? He was 0-1 5-6 40-0 and managed to get broken...
 

Blinkism

Legend
Stakhovsky trying for the double break now on Youzhny's serve 0-2

Youzhny saves 2 BPs but another UE gives Stakhovsky another BP for a chance to go up 3-0

And a very sharp Stakhovsky hits his way into a set and double break lead

7-6, 3-0

:)
 

Blinkism

Legend
I don't know who he is but anyone beating Youzhny is my friend...
He's got a great game, that Stakhovsky. He's a true all-courter. Comes in behind good serves with some S&V, not afraid to move forward or try a drop shot. Excellent slices and he plays with a one-handed backhand (but occasionally puts a second hand on the shot for some volleys and block shots). Excellent serve too.

He's like Ljubicic, except he's not reached the level Ljubo ever did because he really can't translate his skills to much success off of the indoor hardcourt season (not so great on clay or grass). Poor lateral movement is partly to blame. He's still young and improving. He's got 2 tour titles so far. Not a bad start.

Not a big fan of Youzhny?

7-6, 4-1
 
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He's got a great game, that Stakhovsky. He's a true all-courter. Comes in behind good serves with some S&V, not afraid to move forward or try a drop shot. Excellent slices and he plays with a one-handed backhand (but occasionally puts a second hand on the shot for some volleys and block shots). Excellent serve too.

He's like Ljubicic, except he's not reached the level Ljubo ever did because he really can't translate his skills to much success off of the indoor hardcourt season (not so great on clay or grass). Poor lateral movement is partly to blame. He's still young and improving. He's got 2 tour titles so far. Not a bad start.

Not a big fan of Youzhny?

7-6, 4-1
I root for Nadal, Roddick, Murray, and Blake against Youzhny... he is my least favorite player
 

Blinkism

Legend
Stakhovsky serving for the match 7-6, 5-2

tried for the triple break with some chip-and-charge, but Youzhny determined not to be breadsticked

Davai Sergiy, close it out! :)

I think Stakhovsky is close to 100% on S&V conversion today. Immaculate service games from the Ukrainian today. Youzhny has no answer to this.

2 MP's for a good win
 
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Blinkism

Legend
And a service winners wraps up the win 7-6(11), 6-2 for Sergiy Stakhovsky!

Davai!

He goes on to the second round to face, barring a huge upset, Kubot for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Great stuff :)
 

Blinkism

Legend
Dr. Ivo on court with Fognini warming up now.

I wonder if he's improved his ground game in the offseason...

C'mon Ivo!
 
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