Every now and then the ATP tour throws up a completely unpredictable tournament. These usually happen in the clay court season, but this time it was not to be the case. This time it was to be the hard courts of Indian Wells. I mean what’s going on, the American hard court season is safe, it’s standard, it’s a foregone conclusion, or at least we thought it was. This is usually the playground of usual suspects such as Federer, Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Roddick, Davydenko and more recently Del Potro and Cilic, whom none of which (save for Roddick) made the semi-finals of the biggest tour tournament there is other than the Grand slams.
There was simply shocks in abundance throughout the tournament, but one of more namely was the defeat of Federer by Marcos Baghdatis. I think this shows perhaps just a little bit of insight into his desire for these tournaments from now on. It could be put down a little to lack of match practice but I doubt it. I still think though Federer, if he decided he wants to, could easily bag another masters tournament.
Andy Murray was an early exit albeit not so shocking to an in-form Soderling. Despite losing ranking points, he still overtook Nadal into 3rd place in the rankings, but he’ll have to defend his title in Miami to have any hope of sustaining it. Nadal on the other hand showed some encouraging signs of a comeback, and if it wasn’t for an inspired Ljubicic, we could have been talking about a back on track Nadal. Still don’t think there’s much we can judge from him by this hard court stint; I will be looking forward to the clay season to get a true picture of where his game is at.
And speaking of Ljubicic, I take my hat off to you sir. 31 years old, fallen from grace about three years ago, just about everybody had written him off not even to make it to playing the quarter finals. Nevertheless he made it that far to beat Djokovic (world no.2), then Nadal (world no. 3) and then Roddick (on his home turf). Can he keep this performance up in Miami, I really don’t know, but my how interesting would it be for the tour if he could break back into the top ten…here’s waiting with baited beath for Miami.