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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
country flag Ash86
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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Olympics 2012: Early Fireside Discussions

If we can discuss the clay season then why not the grass?!

Interesting comment from Rafa in an interview today about whether the tournament being on grass reduces the players who could win it:

Q. What changes to the London Games are on grass, an area set aside a few specialists?

A. Nothing. We will come to play on grass (Wimbledon 2012). I'm not one hundred percent agree that the grass reduces the number of candidates. In fact, perhaps enlarged. Maybe open it, for the simple fact that there is more room fast track. In grass, playing best of three sets, with the slightest mistake you're out. To the best of five, okay. Best of three, playing with the tension the most of the points, you'll be very easy. Rather than close options, open to most. A best of three Karlovic never tires, a Isner, a Raonic ... in other different conditions would have fewer choices, even great players. It's a great opportunity for them. For the favorites can be a problem.

Not a surprise that he thinks it could be unpredictable and difficult for the favourites - it's Rafa after all! He'll never say things are easy - even if it was being held at Roland Garros he'd say it's tough to call... But in this case I think he's right - in a best of 3 the top 4 are vulnerable to big servers on grass. It's difficult to do much about a Karlovic/Raonic/Isner if they're on and can just win 7-6, 7-6 - you don't even need to play badly to lose to a player like that... Nadal went down 2 sets to 1 twice in Wimbledon 2010 and has had other 5 setters there - weirdly I think it isn't that favourable to him that the Olympics is on grass, despite him being one of the top 2 grass courters of his generation (5 finals can't be fluked...) because it's best of 3 until the final - on hard court the serve is still important but not necessarily as decisive as it can be on grass.

Would love to not see many upsets unlike the past Olympics and have the big 4 or at least 3 of them battle it out for gold, silver and bronze but think it's unlikely. Isner and Raonic have a great shot at getting medals... Murray could do well too. More than at other times the draw will really be crucial here - Isner & Raonic will be seeded fairly high so it is Karlovic that no one will want early on...
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