2005 Year in Review/ 2006 Preview
I thought why not and keeps us occupied for a while.
2005 Review & 2006 Preview
2005 was an interesting year for Gaston, by the raw numbers it would be definitely considered a successful year. With 5 titles from 6 finals and finishing in the top 10 for the second consecutive year is more than was expected from him at the start of 2005, when he was supposed to disappear off the face of the earth. Though behind the good numbers there are some other factors which canít be told just by figured.
The Good: Winning 5 titles this season and only losing one final to Nadal in Stuttgart, in which he played well, but was totally outplayed by a better player. Gaston used to have a very bad record of winning finals, but he has improved markedly in that department and this can only be good. Though he won the 5 titles, the players he defeated players that he should be beating on the clay, when he is near the top of his game like Gonzalez, Puerta, Robredo, Wawrinka and Verdasco and did so.
His overall improved results on hardcourts and indoors was pleasing. He played well in Australia and lost a very tough match against a seasoned fighter in Hrbaty in the heat. He made the quarters in Montreal and Paris which was unexpected and helped him make the TMC. In addition to making the semis of the TMC, shows that he has the capacity to do well on these surfaces, though the end wasnít the best for him.
The Bad: Gaston didnít do that well in the important clay events. This is the big time of the year for him and he didnít perform as he was capable of. Yes, all players have bad tournaments, but he didnít get past the QFs in the big four and that is disappointing.
The pressure of being RG defending champion might have played a part, but he is a professional and has to handle this and he failed to do so. This doesnít mean that he has to win every tournament around, but for someone of his ability not to pass the QFs and the bad losses to Ferrer in Rome, where it was painful for the mood he was in and the RG loss when leading 4-0 in the 5th set was disappointing.
Itís great to win titles, but ultimately the performances in the major events are what really count and these in an overall context werenít as good as they should be.
Overall I am satisfied with 2005, in how he managed to keep his ranking at a very good level and played some good tennis, there just wasnít enough of it in the major events and as for some of his poor performances well some things will never be purged from the system completely.
2006: What it Holds
Hopefully itís a successful year, but this will depend on a few factors obviously. How motivated he is, as this was a very tough year for him and unlike last year he had to wait till the end of season to make sure he qualified for the TMC, which was one of his main goals for the year.
I think it will be some time into the year before he starts some good tennis and have very low expectations for the Aus Open. The mental tiredness could be more of a factor and hopefully he has recharged his batteries and can start the season well.
It would be disappointing if he doesnít play in Buenos Aires and I would love to see him playing Davis Cup again and do well in the major clay events of 2006 and continue to improve on hardcourts.
Donít play Wimbledon, watching Argentina in the World Cup is more important.
Just hope he continues to entertain, play well, have fun and infuriate us for a while yet.
ď On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".
Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.