Top AO contenders analysis [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Top AO contenders analysis

Halba
01-15-2009, 09:00 AM
1. ANDY MURRAY

Murray is the most in form tennis player on the planet right now. He has the best movement, has now the best fitness, and the best backhand(apart from Nalbandian and Djokovic) on tour. His serve possesses serious heat this year and is deadly. His 2nd serve percentages can improve still, and he is improving variations on serve. Has not peaked yet at 21yrs(still can improve S&V), has an all court game to boot. Game is most suited to hard.

2. ROGER FEDERER

2nd most likely candidate for the title. Won the last grand slam and timing and footwork looked impeccable at times at Kooyong. Reason is 2nd favourite, has a fairly weak backhand wing which can break down under pressure. Serving is also brilliant, high amount of variations. Power wise he still has the best forehand, but backhand is not powerful and is a liability. Possesses a lot of variations though like slice, and dropshots. Still shots have good depth and angle, especially on the forehand.

3. NOVAK DJOKOVIC

I'd put him as marginal 3rd fav. He played brilliant in his 1st sydney international match and just won the masters cup. Is brilliant on a hard court. Backhand absolutely can flatten it down the line. Forehand possesses serious heat too and he is a great mover and defender. 1st Serve was great in Melbourne last year under pressure = clutch. Can he do it under pressure again. Doesn't possess the variations of Federer or Murray, this is a key weakness. His net play is atrocious at times. Only comes to net on good approach.

4. RAFAEL NADAL - not a natural hard court player this is why is the weakest of the big 4. Has never made a slam final on a hard court. Best is only semi final efforts(last year only). However we all know Nadal is a physical beast and is a fit athlete. As top seed he may have a cakewalk draw and has an advantage he doesn't have to face federer in the semi final(but can face murray which is even worse match up for nadal). He is also tough to beat over best of 5 sets and lefty forehand is simply superb. Backhand has improved, but this still can be weakened when stretched out on the run.

5. JO WILFRIED TSONGA - Definitely the 5th favourite. These courts suit his game but he is not near the form of last year. He was practically dancing around the court like a gazelle last year. Has immense heat on serve and forehand. backhand and movement are weaknesses. Volleys are good but hit and miss.

6. DAVID NALBANDIAN - was in great form at the tail end last year and narrowly missed masters cup. Is still hitting the ball clean with his backhand which is the best on tour. Should be comfortable on these hardcourts. Is a dangerous player, but often has weaknesses with serve &movement, and can make errors on his forehand.

7. JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO - the kid is a machine, and thats the problem. Lacks variety of the above players and is mechanical. Movement is less superior to the above players. Has no wins over big 4, but gave Andy murray a hell of a match in US OPEN last year. This match is indicative of good potential. The JMDP machine can gun down lesser opponents however due to superior power off the baseline and best of 5 sets format will suit his physicality(guy won 4 titles in a row).

8. GAEL MONFILS - guy has a win over nadal in his last match. Superb winners count and great athlete. If he turns up, he may be a spoiler. Doesn't have the brains to compete with a Murray or Fed however.

9. ERNESTS GULBIS - best of 5 set format will suit this guy. Has some serious weapons despite mental fragility. IS a similar player to Djokovic but possesses a huge serve.

i don't rate gasquet, or simon as contenders, especially over 5 sets. Cilic isn't up to it yet and has some technical flaws with his serve and forehand. Roddick just has no baseline game. Nishikori isn't strong enough physically.

Mimi
01-15-2009, 10:07 AM
thanks for the good analysis :wavey:

Kolya
01-15-2009, 10:21 AM
Fitness and recovery will also be an important aspect.

Melbourne heat can be torture.

Halba
01-15-2009, 10:29 AM
tsonga may withdraw with back injury. i would remove him from the list of contenders, i doubt he can win it with that condition in best of 5.

replace tsonga with simon i guess?

NALBY is 5th favourite in my opinion

big 6

murray fed nadal djokovic nalby del potro

simon lost to gasquet in sydney and was disappointing in hopman cup

nalby can break into big 4 this year with some good slam performances and big wins, he's got good all court game and great backhand.

vincayou
01-16-2009, 12:12 AM
Simon has to be the most underrated player on tour (I say that, I never rated him), but he has yet to perform in a slam.

There was a sport show on TV this week about him. When he was a kid, nobody thought he would be a pro one day. When he became a pro, nobody was thinking he would break top 100. And when he went there, nobody thought he would go top 20, or of course top 10.

This guy is really surprising.

PiggyGotRoasted
01-16-2009, 12:14 AM
1) Oscar Hernandez ESP

The legend himself, he is a lock on to win the whole thing if he doesnt decide to tank.

Arhaych
01-16-2009, 12:27 AM
Few points I disagree with, but very good analysis, thank you!

fast_clay
01-16-2009, 01:10 AM
why isnt Radek Stepanek in this list...? the guy just won f***ing Brisbane ffs...!

flexeter
01-16-2009, 01:20 AM
Although I am a Gulbis fan, I think to consider him as a favourite is just plain retarded. No way, there is just no way he may be even in the top 20 contenders list. MTF just overrates him too much. Roddick has good form, who saw matches in Doha, must say that he has a shot at least at QF.

Clydey
01-16-2009, 01:39 AM
Apart from your ranking of the tour's best backhands, I like the analysis.

Arhaych
01-16-2009, 01:48 AM
Apart from your ranking of the tour's best backhands, I like the analysis.

Yes, I feel Roddick should be up there, along with Gonzo and Karlovic.

richie21
01-16-2009, 01:55 AM
Apart from your ranking of the tour's best backhands, I like the analysis.

Yeah you're right,Murray shouldn't be in this ranking :p

Guy Haines
01-16-2009, 02:01 AM
Simon has to be the most underrated player on tour (I say that, I never rated him), but he has yet to perform in a slam.

There was a sport show on TV this week about him. When he was a kid, nobody thought he would be a pro one day. When he became a pro, nobody was thinking he would break top 100. And when he went there, nobody thought he would go top 20, or of course top 10.

This guy is really surprising.

That's one of the reasons I like him. :)

But he'll really be surprising people if he goes far here, based on his form/plan going in to the tournament. He should be able to beat his 3rd round record at least -- I hope.

Snowwy
01-16-2009, 02:09 AM
How the fuck is Gulbis a contender over Simon and Gasquet?

Clydey
01-16-2009, 02:13 AM
Yeah you're right,Murray shouldn't be in this ranking :p

That can only be a joke, so I'll :lol:

Clydey
01-16-2009, 02:14 AM
Yes, I feel Roddick should be up there, along with Gonzo and Karlovic.

I meant the order that they were ranked in, not their inclusion. Those are the 3 best backhands on tour, in my opinion.

GlennMirnyi
01-16-2009, 02:15 AM
Gulbis 9th favorite for the AO?

I'd put Florent Serra with the same chances as him. That is, none.

Guy Haines
01-16-2009, 02:17 AM
How the fuck is Gulbis a contender over Simon and Gasquet?

Becsuse he's flashy. :o And I like Ernests. But come on... If you look at his good showing at the French last year, even that was from playing such huge clay stalwarts as James Blake.

Going into the Australian, he looks like the same Gulbis: flashes of brilliance and a lot of mental lapses. At least he's gotten Montanes instead of Safin to start, so he can pick up some points.

Clydey
01-16-2009, 02:18 AM
Gulbis 9th favorite for the AO?

I'd put Florent Serra with the same chances as him. That is, none.

You're blogging now? How often can we expect updates?

fast_clay
01-16-2009, 02:26 AM
How the fuck is Gulbis a contender over Simon and Gasquet?

yeah... fully... gulbis should be playing in nappies with the amount of times he pisses his pants on the edge of victory...

case
01-16-2009, 02:51 AM
how is the health of nadal this year? i keep expecting for him to just fall apart.