On the Volley Bipolar tennis, anyone?

17th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

With the tennis season's first Grand Slam in full swing, the question at the back of every Spanish aficionado's mind is: where will the Rafa Nadal roulette wheel stop next?

17 January 2008

MADRID - With the tennis season's first Grand Slam in full swing, the question at the back of every Spanish aficionado's mind is: where will the Rafa Nadal roulette wheel stop next?

He's up, he's down. He's fit, he's exhausted. Much like the yellow tennis ball bouncing around, (and much unlike world number one Roger Federer, who Nadal could, theoretically, dethrone for the first time) the world number two has not shown the any hint of consistency so far this year.

In his opening match at the Australian Open, Nadal struggled to beat the Serb Viktor Troicki, an opponent who shouldn't have been so much trouble. However, this shaky display was followed by yesterday's decisive second-round victory over France's Florent Serra, where the Spaniard dropped only four games, and served up nine aces in the 90-minute match.

Before that, there was the Chennai, where Nadal's brilliant four-hour semifinal win over Carlos Moyà was followed up with him being steamrollered in the finals against number 14 seed at the Open, Mikhail Youzhny.

And while all eyes are on the bipolar Nadal, other Spanish hopefuls have shown no more consistency. Finalist in 1997, Carlos Moyà lost a "mentally strenuous" four-set match in the first round to Koubek, who he had beaten just a week before at a Sydney exhibition. Also joining the "better-luck-next-year" category are number 11 Tommy Robredo, put down in three sets by Mardy Fish, and Nicolas Almagro, as well as other unseeded players.

On the other hand, remaining top players David Ferrer and Juan Carlos Ferrero will be hoping for a bit of inconsistency, neither having made it past the tournament's fourth round in the past three years.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / KELLY RAMUNDO 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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