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Archive for the ‘ATP’ Category

A mild surprise today from the Indian Wells desert when former champion and current World No. 2 Novak Djokovic was beaten in straight sets by Ivan Ljubicic.

Djokovic had been the hottest player on the ATP circuit after a Dubai title, two Davis Cup wins and two more wins in the desert, but that 9-match win streak all went to pot today against the big-serving Croatian veteren.

Djokovic will now rest – he allegedly had some allergy problems and felt the affects of all that tennis – for a few days and get ready for the Miami Sony event which begins a week from today.

Rafael Nadal also won in three sets beating back the Big Tree, John Isner. Nadal was in control for most of the match until a poor service game when the 4-time French champion hit consecutive double faults and then made a careless unforced error to give Isner a break in the second set.

But Nadal broke Isner in the third and cruised to the win. Nadal won the title at Indian Wells last year.

Marcos Baghdatis, a surprise winner over Roger Federer, had no left emotionally in a three set loss to Tommy Robredo.

Andy Roddick and Andy Murray play later on tonight.

Robin Soderling also won trouncing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal appear to be on a much-anticipated early-season collision course in Doha this week as players begin their Australian Open preperation.

The two titans of tennis have rolled through the first two rounds of an otherwise top-heavy Doha draw. But things should get more interesting in the latter rounds as Federer now faces Ernests Gulbis and then maybe Nikolay Davydenko.

Nadal should have easier time with Steve Darcis tomorrow. But all eyes will be on a potential showdown come Saturday. What a match that would be to begin the new season.

In Brisbane, Andy Roddick is still alive but the real story is the return of one Justin Henin. The 27-year-old Henin has enjoyed two straight sets wins in her comeback – one over Top 10 Nadia Petrova – and all bets are she’ll meet her Belgian countrywoman Kim Clijsters in the finale. At least that’s what I think.

So right off the bat we may very have a couple compelling finales to begin this new decade!

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The ATP ruled this past week that the defunct Indianapolis tournament would be moved to Atlanta.

One has to wonder, does the summer ATP circuit really need a tournament in Atlanta? I say no. There are enough events as it is in the U.S. – I know the USTA who took a chunk of the tournament  will argue otherwise of course – and the players are already on the warpath of the schedule being too long.

Without Atlanta the tour would get a week off in the middle of July, and while it wouldn’t directly impact the length of the season, down the road in a few years perhaps that open week would get swallowed up allowing the summer to shrink by one overall week and maybe the tour ends a week earlier.

With Atlanta, it adds one more obstacle in the ATP’s effort to reduce the schedule. But young American and B-level players like Robby Ginepri, Kevin Kim, John Isner and James Blake have to be thrilled about having another chance to pick up ranking points.

I just wonder who many fans will want to see those guys play (sorry fans, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are not going to play!) in the sweltering mid-summer heat of Atlanta.

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