Federer is coming back to play in the Qatar Championshop next week

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Mar 06, 2021, 18:27

Problem is that if he goes through to the play-off stages he might have to play Rudlev - who won the said Championship in 2020.   The problem is that Rudlev - after beating Tsitsipas in the semi - is in the final in Amsterdam tomorrow  and it is not clear how he will get to Qatar for his first game - likely to be on Tuesday.


Rublev also now has won 19 TPA 500 matches  in a row and it will be 20 of he wins tomorrow.    That makes him hard to oppose in Qatar,             

Mar 06, 2021, 18:27

Problem is that if he goes through to the play-off stages he might have to play Rudlev - who won the said Championship in 2020.   The problem is that Rudlev - after beating Tsitsipas in the semi - is in the final in Amsterdam tomorrow  and it is not clear how he will get to Qatar for his first game - likely to be on Tuesday.


Rublev also now has won 19 TPA 500 matches  in a row and it will be 20 of he wins tomorrow.    That makes him hard to oppose in Qatar,             

Mar 07, 2021, 19:04

Rublev has won the ABN AMRO  Final and is now equal with Federer in winning 20 PTA 500 matches in a row,  The next  PTA 500 series is the Qatar Open starting tomorrow,    He is going to Qatar tomorrow and his first match is on  Wednesday in a tournament he won last year,      He may meet  Federer in that series.           

Mar 08, 2021, 16:17

The seeds for the Qatar Championship are as follows:-

1      Thiem

2      Federer

3      Rudlev

4      Shapovalov

5      Bautista-Agut

6      Goffin

7      Wawrinka

8      Coric

The above means  that Thiem, Rublev, Bautista-Agut and Wawrinka is in the top half of the draw - while  Federer, Shapovalov, Goffin and Coric are in the bottom half of the draw,   That means that Federer does not really have strong opposition to get through to the final  - the ronly really difficult match could be against Shapovalov.    +  

Mar 09, 2021, 09:22

Neither Federer nor Ruplev or Thiem will play today - their first matches  are only tomorrow, since the top 4 rated players have byes in round 1.   

Thiem will play Karatsev - who was a semi-finalist in the Australia Open and Ruplev will play Gasquet tomorrow,.    Federer will play Daniel Evans  (England) ..

The fourth rated player - Denis Shapavalov  (Canada) will play Vasel Pospisil (Canada).

The only SA player in the Tournament  -  Lloyd Harris - will play Stan Wawrinka today.



  

Mar 09, 2021, 17:20

The matches scheduled for tomorrow are as follows :

Top half of the draw

Dominic  Thiem          vs       Aslan Karatsev

Roberto Bautista-Agut   vs    Alexander Bublik

Marcos Fucsovics          vs     Lloud Harris

Andrey Rudlev             vs      Richard Gasquet

Bottom Half of the Draw

Roger Federer              vs       Daniiel Evans 

Nickoloz Basilashvili   vs        Malek Jaziri

Denis Shapovalov         vs      Vasek  Pospisil

Taylor Fritz                    vs      David Goffin

The real surprise result was Harris beating Wawrinka.   I am convinced  that the latter as at the end of a good more than a decade long career.   

Mar 10, 2021, 05:32

So what is going to happen  today in the matches to be played:\-

Thiem vs  Karatsev

Despite the fact that Karatsev did very well in the Aussie Open and even won a game frim Djokovic serve  I do not think he can beat Thiem .   The latter had  an injury problem in the WC and also the PTA World Cup series  and if he is over that problem he should easily beat Karatsev. 

Bautista-Agut vs  Bublik

Bublik played very well in the Amsterdam Open and that makes me unsure about his chnces to win here - a 50-50 game.    I think that Bublik might just be surprised  winner,.

Fucsovics vs  Harris

Reaching the final and putting up a good performance making life quite difficult  for Rublev indicates that Fucsovics is a better and more comopetitive player than his rankings indicate,    The fact is that Harris beat Wrawrinka - does not count for much  - so my money is on Fucsovics beating Harris,

Rublev vs  Gasquet 

Rublev goes through to the  quarterfinal because of a walkover.   

Federer vs Evans 

If  Federer cannot beat Evans he should retire from playing professional tennis - Federer to win the match easily

Basilashvili bs Jaziri

Has not seen enough if those two players to make a call - but Basilashvili is the possible  favorite to win this one 

Shapovalov vs Pospisil

Two really nice guys from Canada playing each other -  but Shapo should win this one.

Fritz  vas Goffin

In the Australian open Fritz took Djokovic ti a five setter and I think if he repeats that form he should beat the in-form Goffin 

If the predictions are correct the quarterfinals  should be between the following:-

Thiem vs  Bautista-Agut

Rublev vs  Fucsovics

Federer vs  Basilashvili

Shapovalov vs  Fritz



  

Mar 10, 2021, 20:09

This is not the Federer whim we so admire as a tennis player.   He struggled badly against badly against Evans - the 29 ranked player in tennis beating him  7(10) - 6(8), 3-6, 7-5.   

He is lucky that his next player he has to play is the weakest player in the field - not in the top 50  -  but after that he has to play either Shapovalov (the number 12 ranked player) or Frotz who took Djokovic to a 5-setter in the Australian Open. 

Thiem also got a bad fright from Karatsev - whose claim to fame was him reaching the semi's in the Aussie open as a qualifier where he was not disgraced in his loss against Djokovic - who   won the first  set , but  Thiem win the other two sets  with relative ease.       

So the quarterfinals will be between the following players:-

Thiem vs  Bautista-Agut

Neither Thiem nor Bautista-Agut is in good form and it is difficult  to assess ho will be the winner ultimately.      However, bearing in mind that the players Thiem played against and wn in the EOYT in November -  Nadal and Djokovic - I believe that  he should be the favourite to win;         

Rublev vs  Fucsovics 

Rublev  is the inform player in the series,     This year Rublev played in 14 matches this year and won in 13 of those.   Hos only loss was against Medvedev om the Australian Open in which match  he suffered badly from dehydration.   

 Interesting enough - as  Rublev playing Fucsovics in the quarters  would be the second time the two meet within a week - the two were finalists in Amsterdam on Sunday,   In that game Fucsovics put up a brave  display in the first set - but Rublev still won the trophy in 2 sets.   

Federer vs  Basilashvili

If  Federer  does not win this match 6-1, 6-1 I will be surprised. 

Shapovalov vs  Fritz

Looking at recent results a prediction of a winner is impossible. or near to it.  Only looking at the PTA rankings Shapo should be the winner, but he is not wining    

My forecast is  consequently as follows:-

Thiem to beat  Bautista-Agut

Rublev -   walkover

Fritz to beat Shapovalov

Federer to beat Basilashvili


Mar 11, 2021, 14:02

What happened in Qatar this week must really be unique in the history of tennis.   Let me be explicit - Rublev will be going into the semi-final  without playing a single match in the series.

So how did it happen?   

*   In the case of most tournaments - but not the Majors and the EOYC  -  the top rated 8 or in this case  4 players do not play  in round 1 of tournaments.   In the case of the Qatar tournament Rublev (rated 3) was given a bye in Round 1.

*    The first match Rublev was supposed to play  was against Gasquet , but  never took place since Gasquet could not play and he ended up with a walkover.

*     The quarterfinal round  match was supposed to be against Fucsovics - the player Rublev beat in the final in Rotterdam on Sunday - and who beat Harris in the game yesterday, but now cannot play in the semi.   Another walkover,  

Weird, but true.       

  

Mar 11, 2021, 16:09

Both Federer and  Thiem committing Hara Kiri as a cause of losing,   The only remaining  rated player is Rublev (3).

So here we are at semi stage  with the matchups  being as follows:-

Rublev vs  Bautista-Agut

Fritz  vs   Basilashvili

I cannot believe it - a player who struggled and was lucky to be in the quarterfinal beat Federer 3-6, 6-1,7-5.    This guy  rated as the no 44 player who seldom makes it into the  play offs in any TPA series - beats  Federer with relative ease.   I think it is time for Federer to call it a day and quit professional tennis before he damages his reputation any further.   He was below par in both games he played in and now this - unbelievable.  

So who do I think will be in the final:-

Rublev vs  Fritz 

The reasons for the above is  as follows:-

*   Rublev is in deadly form and although I could not find any evidence of direct games between him and Bautista-Agut  - both played Thiem in recent games,   In his last two meetings  between Thiem  and Rublev the latter beat him with ease om two sets apiece.   Bautista-Agut beat Thiem yesterday - but in a game where both players struggled for supremacy Bautista-Agut whon in three sets with the scire 7-6,3-6 and  7-5 - ie narrowly,   Rublev is in deadly form and had no difficult matches to contend with in this series  as described elsewhere - the latter will have an advantage over his opponent,  

*    Fritz was the player who forced Djokovic into a five set match in the Aussie Open amd hos form is mucj better than tghat of Basilashvilli in this series as well.

   


Mar 13, 2021, 02:59

Not playing in any games before the semi must have had a serious detrimental effect on the performance of Rublev today.   He was not what he usually is - a fighter.         

 
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