Monday, January 26, 2004

The Weekend Down Under: So far, my men's picks are on track. Grosjean has little chance to beat Agassi, though it would be sweet for the little Frenchman. Marat Safin, who has the size and skill, doesn't seem to have the head game for Roddick. Federer will have to beat Nalbandian and Ferrero to reach the finals. I wonder if he has the heart to do it. Don't get me wrong: I like the kid, and he's got a sweet game; but Nalbandian always seems to have his number. And Ferrero, who showed some success on hard courts at Queens last year, could beat either one on a good day, though I doubt his chops against either Roddick or Agassi. At this point, I'd have to take Roddick/Federer for the finals, which could be a great match if Roger shows up. Roddick/Ferrero is a possibility, though it wouldn't be as good a match; Roddick took Ferrero in straight sets in Queens. (Am I slighting Hicham Arazi? Maybe. God knows how he dismantled Philippousis like that. I think he's shot his bolt, though.)

On the women's side, I missed some surprises. The 30-year-old doubles specialist and long-time also-ran Lisa Raymond (who, like Enobarbus, greeted the world for the first time in lovely Norristown, Pennsylvania) shocked Venus and walked over Tatiana Golovin for a quarterfinal slot. Who would've guessed? Razor, probably. Don't count her out. She's on a streak and is pretty well matched against Patty Schnyder, and Kim Clijsters can occasionally be counted on to phone in a high stakes match. On the other side, things have progressed according to form. Justine should be able to take down Davenport, and Mauresmo shouldn't have any trouble with the unknown she's facing. As a long shot, though, wouldn't Justine vs. Lisa be a match to behold? Razor and Eno could go double or quits on the 2002 Super Bowl bet for that match.

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