If today’s quarterfinal matches weren’t intense enough, there is still a second group of quarterfinalists that are getting ready to put in the mileage to reach the semifinals. Rafael Nadal will face fellow countryman Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer will face Andy Murray. I have a feeling that these two matches will not be as intense or drawn out as the two quarterfinal matches from today (Federer vs. Del Potro, Djokovic vs. Tsonga), I’m confident that neither of the two matches will go the distance of 5 sets. Here’s why:

Rafael Nadal [2] vs. Nicolas Almagro [12]: This one is obvious, there is very little chance that Almagro is going to even challenge the six time French Open champion, Rafael Nadal. The two have faced each other a total of 7 time and Nicolas has only taken a total of two sets from the former world #1 in all of those meetings. This should be a cake walk for Nadal, nothing more than an intense practice session. 

I like Almagro’s tennis game, he’s got plenty of power (especially from his one handed backhand) and moves rather well, it’s just that Nadal is so much stronger and faster than him. In my opinion, the only thing that Almagro can do in this situation is to try to run Nadal around as much as possible, he might be able to get some points doing that, he has to wear him down until he cannot move anymore, though I still think that he doesn’t have firepower that Rafa has. My prediction is pretty obvious in this match up, Nadal will win, easily, in straight sets. Sorry Almagro, nice run though.

Now onto the more important quarterfinal prediction, Andy Murray [4] vs. David Ferrer [6]: I think this is going to be the match to watch tomorrow! If you read yesterday’s post about Andy Murray’s ‘back injuries’, then you know why this is going to be a match to keep a very close eye on, specifically keeping an eye on Murray. First, let me get into the actual tennis portion of this quarterfinal prediction; the two have met a total of nine times in the past, with Andy winning 5 of their meetings. The thing is, all but one of Ferrer’s wins have been on clay so this is bound to be one heck of a match.

Murray is bigger and stronger than the smaller Ferrer, Murray can outhit David easily from all parts of the tennis court; in order for Ferrer to come out on top, he’s going to have to do what he does best…get to every single ball he possibly can. That’s his biggest advantage, David is a much better mover than Andy, by a long shot; he’s quicker, more agile, and explosive than the Brit. Murray will not be able to dropshot the Spaniard all too often, he’s just too fast, if he’s going to play those kinds of points Andy is going to have to do it rarely and only when Ferrer is way out of position.

I’m not saying the only weapon that Ferrer has against Murray is his speed, he also has good enough strokes to keep him in points, though his strongest aspect of his strokes has to be his placement ability. The Spaniard can hit down the line or deep cross court groundies all day long. He has the gift of being able to absorb a lot of the pace that’s given to him and use it against his opponents and place the ball almost anywhere he wants. That is going to be extremely effective against the Brit.

The most important factor for Ferrer to knock out Murray from the French Open is going to be his mental toughness, particularly important after some of the garbage Murray has pull on court in his previous rounds when he was down. We’ve all see Andy this tournament be in agony over his lower back, almost immediately after loses a point on his account; he winces, grabs at his back, yelps, and causes a mental distractions for his opponents. I have to believe that David Ferrer is mentally tough enough to block out the ‘pains’ that Murray is sure to display when he gets behind. It will be imperative for David to keep plugging along and hitting his strokes and playing his game while Andy attempts any of that garbage he likes to put on when he’s losing a match. I secretly hope that Ferrer crushes Murray, only because Andy has been playing these childish mind games with his opponents.

In any event, I predict that David Ferrer will beat Andy Murray in the French Open quarterfinal, I hope that it will be a straight sets win but I’m sure it will be 4.

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Filed under: 2012 Tennis Season

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