Upsets Galore In Indian Wells
It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top on this week’s ATP fantasy draw. Mine certainly has not gone to plan. My eventual winner, Marin Cilic, lost a shocker in the first round to Garcia-Lopez. Cilic has been steadily building a reputation as a solid all-rounder with great mental ability who is likely to go deep in draws. Since the Australian Open, Cilic has been struggling to do all of those things, with an upset in Dubai and an extraordinary loss this week. Whether it is the new found attention and pressure getting to Cilic, or he is simply tired and having a bit of a lull after the Australian Open is hard to say. Hopefully it is the latter and he will return to full force in Miami. He is the dark horse in any big tournament at the moment, and he is a horse I personally want to see run well.
It’s not as if it is just Marin Cilic suffering from post Slam blues this week, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both looked out of sorts all tournament. Federer hasn’t hit a ball since the Australian Open after being sick with a lung infection, so it is understandable he was rusty in his opening match against Victor Hanescu and his third round loss to Marcos Baghdatis. What was inconceivable were the multiple match points he blew. Federer looked out of sorts and angry, sending many a forehand long and lacking his normal Swiss composure. In his press conference he was honest and moody. He was unhappy he lost, saying that he should have never been in a tiebreaker and he wishes he were preparing for his next match. Which is a good thing, as Steve Tignor of http://tennis.com wrote, because it means Federer really does care about non-Slam events.
If Cilic is suffering an Australian Open hangover, and Federer is simply out of practise, then who knows what to say when it comes to Djokovic. He struggled through Dubai but still managed to win the tournament, and while he made the quarter finals, he wasn’t fantastic at the Australian Open either. He was just downright terrible in Indian Wells, going down to Ivan Ljubicic in the fourth round. He went to three sets in the two previous matches, which involved a bagel by his second round opponent Mardy Fish, and saving three match points against Phillip Kohlschreiber. The world number two remains a mystery to his fans and critics alike.
Murray and Nadal are meanwhile living up to their rankings. Murray has looked rusty at times but his opponents have been pretty far from challenging. Nadal has been looking the best he has in a long time, (I mean game-wise, because those shorts are awful), coming through a tough three-setter against the mighty John Isner today. Nadal is looking like the favourite to take the tournament, but so far in Indian Wells being the favourite means nothing.