2011 Sony Ericsson Open – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Round 4
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) vs. Mardy Fish (USA)
This is the fifth career meeting between Del Potro and Fish and they have split the previous four. They recently met at Delray Beach back in February and Del Potro won that in straight sets. Del Potro dismantled Robin Soderling in the third round 6-3, 6-2, which is an incredible feat. Next to Djokovic, their may be no one that is playing better right now. He has definitely regained his form and now is a threat to win every tournament he enters. His advantage is that he can step into the court and take the ball early which catches his opponents out of position. While Fish has improved his forehand and his serve, he still lacks the major firepower to beat Del Potro with the way the Argentine is playing. I look for the Del Potro train to keep on rolling.
Nick’s Pick – Del Potro in 2 sets
Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Viktor Troicki (SRB)
Djokovic is 8-1 against his good friend, Troicki, and has already beaten him twice in 2011 (including a 6-0, 6-1 victory at Indian Wells). Troicki is coming off of a nice win over Sam Querrey in the third round, but nothing can prepare him for the way the Djoker is playing. Djokovic is placing his serve with pinpoint accuracy, his movement is superb and their is no weakness in his groundstrokes. It is going to take a Herculean effort to stop Djokovic right now, and I don’t think Troicki has that in him.
Nick’s Pick – Djokovic in 2 sets
Gilles Simon (FRA) vs. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)
Simon is 1-0 against Tipsarevic, with that win coming back in 2008 at Rotterdam. The more I watch Tipsarevic, the more impressed I am. He has a big forehand, solid serve and his movement is superb. He is playing with a ton of confidence and it is really showing on the court. Simon brings a lot to the table. He has a fantastic two-handed backhand and he is a former top ten player. There are going to be so long rallies in this match, so make sure you bring a big bottle of water! I look for this match to go three sets, and I give a slight edge to Tipsarevic based on what I have seen thus far in the tournament.
Nick’s Pick – Tipsarevic in 3 sets
Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Olivier Rochus (BEL)
Federer is 7-0 against Rochus, but in three of those matches he has dropped a set to the Belgian. I watched Rochus play Youzhny yesterday and I just love watching him play. He fights for every point, he hustles for the ball and he never gives up. He is definitely someone you want in your foxhole if you are going into battle. What he doesn’t have is the ability to push Federer around the court. The difference here will be Federer’s ability to win quick points with his serve and just the fact that Federer can jerk Rochus around with his variety and keep the Belgian off-balance. I look for a tough two-set victory for Federer as he gets another step closer to a semifinal match with Nadal.
Nick’s Pick – Federer in 2 sets