Saturday, April 3, 2010

Miami Report

Confession time. The reason why I put Clijster's and Roddick's images in my last Miami entry was because I thought both would lose (valiantly) to their respective opponents in the semifinals. They proved me wrong.

Kim Clijsters defeated her arch rival Justine Henin in a roller coaster 6-2 7-6 7-6 match. Clijsters was up 6-2 3-0 before letting Henin back into the game. The final set was a game of chicken for both ladies, neither one capable of taking a hold of the win. With her fourth match point, Clijsters eked out Henin 8-6 in the third leveling their H2H at 12 wins a piece.

Clijsters will have a chance to even another H2H when she goes up against Venus Williams in the finals. Both ladies have move through the draw with minimal drama, losing only one set the whole tournament. They most recently met in the fourth round of last year's US Open with Clijsters winning a very strange 6-0 0-6 6-4 match. Clijsters then went on to win the tournament.

Fun Fact: Clijsters will break into the top ten with a win here in Miami. Even without the win, she will move up all the way to #11. Unranked until this week, Henin will move into #23 after this tournament, just in time for her favorite part of the year: clay season.

Andy Roddick
was seen as the underdog against Rafael Nadal. When Nadal won the first set, many thought the Spaniard would win in straights to reach the finals and finally get his first title in nearly 11 months. Roddick had a different idea. Playing aggressive and smart tennis, Roddick was able to break Nadal late in the second set and then early in the third set to take control. For his part, Nadal didn't help himself as he looked frustrated by the end. Roddick clinched the win by breaking Nadal a second time in the final set. Roddick d. Nadal 4-6 6-3 6-3.

Roddick will face the man who took out Roger Federer earlier this week, Tomas Berdych. Roddick has a 5-2 H2H against Berdych, but do remember that Nadal had a similar H2H against Roddick before they played. Plus en route to the finals Berdych not only took out Federer down a match point, but he also beat talented players such as Fernando Verdasco and Robin Soderling.

Fun fact: Three of the four men's semifinalists also made the semifinals in last week's BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (Roddick, Nadal, and Soderling). Both Nadal and Soderling also lost in the semifinals while Roddick made it to the finals as well. Will the "other" person (Berdych) win like last week (Ljubicic)?

Prediction: Since I underestimated them both last time, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and predict that both Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick will be walking off the champions this weekend down in Miami.

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