Originally Posted by Tennis724
Damn right that I have confidence in him. I believe in him and if he can believe in himself he should get through the first two rounds. He's had it tough to start this year but if he can remember how easily he beat Jeff last year and then remember what he did against both Carlsen & Blake, he should have no problem.
You know, as someone who has nearly blind faith and loyalty to a particular player, I can almost understand this comment, but you need to sprinkle a bit of reality on it. Alex lost in the first round of a Challenger last week to a guy ranked in the something-hundreds. As for who he beat last year, it doesn't matter. Tommy beat Max 7 times in a row, but lost their last match. Novak had beaten JMG twice and JMG 'crushed him' (to use his words) this week. Blake injured his arm when he played Alex last year in Newport (five days after his father died, how he even showed up for that tournament, I will never understand). Under the circumstances, Alex has a tough draw, whether or not anyone believes in him or he believes in himself. While this draw may look weak on paper from a 'star power' point of view (why didn't they give Mardy Fish the wildcard he wanted?), it features a lot of evenly matched players and anything could happen here.
Is Malisse playing Davis Cup for Belgium next week? Could that be why he pulled?
I might as well do this here (in this order)...