Madrid Crisis Center, Day 5

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 /by

Berd

Good morning. As usual please use this space to discuss today's matches, and any other tennis-related matters of the day. We'd appreciate it if you could hold you off-topic chat until the tennis has finished.

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Today's Order of play in Madrid can be found on this link. Looking just at the ATP, I'm going to have a tough time deciding whether to watch world number five Juan Martin Del Potro versus Tomas Berdych (who won last week's tournament in Munich, and also these two's only match to date, in Tokyo last year) or Novak Djokovic against Oscar Hernandez. Later in the day there's also an opportunity to see James Blake (who reached the Estoril final last week) take on Ivo Karlovic (last week's Belgrade semifinalist). Karlovic leads that head-to-head 3-1. David Ferrer versus Juan Monaco also looks promising (Monaco has won both of their matches on clay, but those happened four or five years ago). Naturally I'll be watching the battle of the lefties - Rafael Nadal versus Jurgen Melzer - late in the afternoon.

Perhaps Master Ace or other posters can identify the best potential matches of the day on the WTA side. I've seen little of the WTA lately, so can't say much about current form. I did catch some of Dinara Safina's run to the title in Rome last week, including her marathon semifinal against Venus Williams, and would expect that many of you will be watching the world number one as she takes on Li Na in the primetime evening slot today.

I'm nominating an ATP player of the day for yesterday - Ivan Ljubicic, who defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5. Clay is Tsonga's worst surface, but the clay in Madrid this week looks pretty fast, and the two players were mostly able to dominate on serve. Perhaps our WTA watchers could suggest a player of the day on the women's side.

As always, enjoy today's tennis.

-- Rosangel Valenti

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