2010 Sony Ericsson Open – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Finals

Andy Roddick (USA) vs. Tomas Berdych (CZE)

Roddick is playing some of the best tennis of his career and is in his second straight final in a matter of weeks. He reached the finals of Indian Wells last week, falling to Ivan Ljubicic in straight sets. He won this title back in 2004, but this is the first time he has been back to the finals since. He played fantastic in his win over Rafael Nadal in the semis due to his outstanding serve.

Berdych is on a roll! After taking out Federer in the fourth round he upset Verdasco in the quarters and then had another good win over Soderling in the semis. This is his first appearance in the finals of Miami although he did reach the semis in 2008 before losing to Nadal in straight sets. We have always talked about Berdych’s talent, but maybe now is he finally starting to live up to it.

Match-up:

Roddick is 5-2 against Berdych and has already beaten him twice in 2010. Both men come in playing some of the best tennis of their careers. Berdych is keeping his cool and playing his game which has been the difference in the last couple of weeks. He has big groundstrokes from both sides, moves well and his serve is dangerous. He can hit every shot in the book, but in the past you never knew what to expect from him and that held him back. If he continues to play like he has over the last couple of days, he can beat anyone in the world!

Roddick’s win over Nadal in the semis is one of the best he has had in a while. I said that whoever won that match would be the favorite to take home the title and I am not changing my mind. Roddick’s serve has been the difference throughout the tournament and against Nadal he won 47 of a possible 55 points on his first serve which is just remarkable. His backhand has improved dramatically and his forehand is as lethal as ever. The difference in this match will be Roddick’s serve, but Berdych will not go down without a fight. I look for this one to go the distance with Roddick prevailing in front of the American fans in the end!

Nick’s Pick – Roddick in 3 sets

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~ by Nick's Picks on April 3, 2010.

One Response to “2010 Sony Ericsson Open – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Finals”

  1. Miami Sony Ericsson Open Analysis

    The first part of the hard-court season is finished with the finals of the Miami Open and the pros are preparing for the clay-court season already.
    The tournament in Miami came up some surprise upsets for some of the big names and it also came up with a new name and some very familiar one’s.
    Thomas Berdych is for sure the biggest surprise in this tournament. Not only that he beat Federer in a very close match going the distance and into a third set tiebreaker, by fighting off a match-point, he also kept going all the way to the final. This was a new Berdych, we saw in Miami. He was always considered as one of the next big stars in tennis and Nike gave him a huge contract at an early age. But he could never quite live up to his expectations. The one thing fans and experts were missing in his game, was the fighting spirit and the determination that a true champion needs. Too many matches he lost when it got into a deciding set or when the conditions were not easy and comfortable.
    But here in Miami a different Thomas Berdych showed up. He grinded out the rallys from the baseline, he was much more patient with his shot selection and most of all he never gave up. If he can keep playing with the same attitude, he will finally silence all his critics and become a top 10 player soon. But it will not be easy to carry the momentum into the next tournaments, since the is a surface change from hard-courts to clay-courts. But his newly found qualities will help him even more on a surface like clay. So, it will be exciting to see how he will do in Monte Carlo when all the clay-court specialists show up.
    Not only with him getting better and better, the men’s ranking is getting more interesting, because all the top 10 players a moving closer to each other. Soderling, Tsonga and Roddick are pushing the to 6 players and the top 6 did not do very well in the last to ATP-1000 events. With Daydenko and Del Potro injured and Djokovic and Murray not at their top level, it was only Nadal who showed some signs of form. Even Federer lost some points and opened the door for the other guys (Roger has many points to defend in the next months).
    But besides Berdych, it was Roddick who showed the best form and (even with lucky draws in both tournaments) was the talk of the hard-court season so far. We will see how he can carry the form into the clay-court tournaments, if he plays many at all. But it should give him confidence to try a few more clay-court events this year, especially since his game became much more consistent and he lost some weight. This will all help him on the European clay-courts.

    On the woman’s side there were not too many surprises even though the top 2 players of the tournament went out before the quarterfinals already. Kuznetsova was injured and for new world No. 2, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin was too big a bite, even though she won a set against the former world number one. So, it wasn’t really a surprise to see Henin and Clijsters in the semi finals. And again they showed their fans a thriller that was decided in a tiebreaker again. Just like in the beginning of the year in Australia. And it was the same outcome as well. Clijsters won again and then went on to take the title from a slightly injured Venus Williams 6:2, 6:1! With this win Clisters stormed back into the top 10 and for sure, Justine will follow her soon, especially considering the fact that we will be playing on clay in a few weeks. Serena was not playing in the tournament and if she is not getting back into shape soon, she will lose her No. 1 ranking. Probably to Kim Clijsters, if she decides to play a few more tournaments.
    I think it is great to have the two Belgium champions back on the woman’s tour and I can’t wait to have one of the on the top spot of the rankings again.
    But for sure we will see a big shuffle in both rankings, the woman’s and the men’s.
    Exciting weeks are ahead of us and on top of that, I think the most interesting matches are played on clay, anyways.
    Let’s see what happens and who will shine on the new surface!?

    Hartmut Hesse
    Hesse Tennis Training
    Professional Training and Coaching for Top Juniors and Professionals

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