Wednesday 7 March 2012

Big 4's Chances at Indian Wells 2012

My dear friend and an avid tennis follower, Idrees Arif, has jotted down his views regarding the Big 4 at Indian Wells 2012. Let us see how he sees Big 4's (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray) chances at this year's BNP Paribas Open.

BNP Paribas Open 2012 kicks off tomorrow in the beautiful Californian city of Indian Wells, which will see the finest tennis players in the world return to the United States since US Open '11, where the outcome of Mens Singles Event wasn't much different from what we saw at Melbourne earlier this year.

It can be said, beyond any doubt, that the last 14 months of mens' tennis world have belonged to one man and that man is ..... well, you know who we are talking about here. He seems to have cast some spell on even Rafael Nadal, who has been good enough to beat the "arguably' greatest tennis player ever" more often than not.

When Federer is clearly beyond his best, and hasn't won a slam for 2 years now, how come Nadal has won JUST ONE SLAM since completing his career grand slam at Flushing Meadows in 2010.
Well, we are back to Indian Wells! To be exact it started in the 2nd set of last year's final where it was all looking fine for Rafa till the 1st set ..... but then Nole won the next 2 sets, and then the Miami final, and then to everybody's surprise the Madrid & Rome 2-set finals and then Wimbledon, Revenge at Flushing Meadows and then this year's 'once in a life time' AO final. Starting from the Indian Wells '11, Djokovic is now 7-0 against Nadal in 2011-12, which has certainly been a little too much to bare for Rafa fans.

But has it all been about these two .... surely not!

Nadal won last year's Roland Garros title because of, firstly, his own brilliance and, secondly, because of Federer's Super-Brilliance in the semi-final where he defeated Novak Djokovic after playing a near-perfect match. Federer, at 30, has just lifted two "ATP 500" titles with only 12 days separating the two finals. He has faced the likes of DelPo and Murray during these three weeks and has still managed to drop just one set, which leaves nothing more to be said.

As for Andy Murray, he is certainly the most inconsistent of THE FOUR. Having said that, when Andy is on a tennis court, awesomeness can be seen, at least in patches and with the 6-2 7-5 win over the almost-invincible Nole in Dubai, you never know.

Lets have a look at how the BIG 4 have performed at Indian Wells Masters:

2004 Roger Federer def. Tim Henman 6-3 6-3
2005 Roger Federer def. Lleyton Hewitt 6-2 6-4 6-4
2006 Roger Federer def. James Blake 7-5 6-3 6-0
2007 Rafael Nadal def. Novak Djokovic 6-2 7-5
2008 Novak Djokovic def. Mardy Fish 6-2 5-7 6-3
2009 Rafael Nadal def. Andy Murray 6-1 6-2
2010 Ivan Ljubicic def. Andy Roddick 7-6(3) 7-6(5)
2011 Novak Djokovic def. Rafael Nadal 4-6 6-3 6-2

If the draw follows the seeds, semi-finals will re-ignite the Nadal-Federer and Djokovic-Murray rivalries, the same as at Melbourne in January. 

With Murray having the recent win and Nadal having freshness, look out for a Nadal-Murray final. Nadal should win the title, considering the rest he has had, and start getting it all back at the event where he started to lose it all last year.

If you have any eschatological beliefs which suggest that the world is coming to an end on Dec 21 this year, this is the last chance to watch the BIG 4 at Indian Wells.

What are your views regarding the BNP Paribas OPen 2012? Do you also think that all the 4 semi-final spots will be grabbed by the Big 4 or will anyone outside the Big 4 will have his say???? Do keep us posted.

* Image courtesy ATP world tour site. 

1 comment:

  1. Nadal's game is more tailored to trouble Federer, while Federer clearly has Djokovic on ropes. Federer wasted 2 match points on his own serve last year at US Open against Djokovic. let us not go into that debate. My point is some player's game troubles you more, as compared to other players, so.....