Hey guys, the Istanbul Open Draw went live earlier today and Roger has a pretty nice path to the final which was very much expected at a weak fielded ATP 250 clay tournament.
This is the first ever ATP World Tour event in Turkey and the Swiss has obviously received an attractive offer to help boost the tournaments profile and pull in the crowds to make it a success.
Dimitrov is also making an appearance but other than that there aren't too many big name players in the draw so it's definitely a tournament Fed will be looking to win after bowing out early in Monte Carlo 2 weeks ago.
Federer's Projected Opponents
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2: Marsel Ilhan / Jarkko Nieminen
- Quarter Final: Daniel Gimeno Traver / Mikhail Kukushkin
- Semi Final: Santiago Giraldo
- Final: Grigor Dimitrov
Thoughts on the Draw
First up could be the man Federer plays in an exhibition match on Monday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Istanbul, Marsel Ilhan. Very convenient that his first opponent could be the Turkish Number One 🙂
Of course Ilhan has to get past Jarrko Nieminen first which won't be easy but I think he has a reasonable chance of coming through that one. Should he make it into Round 2 then Roger won't have too many problems with Ilhan. He's a solid top 100 player and might get buoyed playing in front of his home crowd but I would expect a straight sets win.
With only 32 players in the draw and a bye in Round 1 if you're a top seed then winning one match instantly puts you in the Quarter Final. That looks likely to be against Daniel Gimeno Traver who is an experienced clay court player and scored a couple of decent wins in Bucharest this week before losing in the semi final to Jiri Vesely. Kukushkin is also a potential opponent but his record on clay isn't great. Again Fed in straights.
The semi finals are then seeded to be against Santiago Giraldo, like Gimeno-Traver he's a solid clay courter who has decent results on the tour but struggles to get it done in the face of top 10 opposition. Giraldo can definitely pose a test if the courts play quickly like back home in his native Colombia but I doubt he has it in him to score an upset.
Onto the final and Dimitrov is the number 2 seed and I expect him to get there too. His side is slightly tougher with both Cuevas and Bellucci in that section but if Dimitrov plays to his potential he should have more than enough.
What do you guys think? Can Fed win his first title on the red clay since 2009?
A Couple of Quick Mentions
I don't normally feature products or services on here and believe me I get tons of offers but none of them ever really fit the bill. However over the last 2 weeks I've been sent two items that I thought I'd mention.
Federer and Me: A Story of Obsession
The first is a new book written by William Skidelsky called Roger Federer and Me: A Story of Obsession.
Here's the official synopsis:
This is not a biography of Roger Federer. Or, at least, it is only in part a biography. There is no exhaustive overview of Federer’s life and career, no detailed account of his junior record, no roll call of his Wimbledon triumphs, although there have been many of them. The view it offers is partial, subjective, its shape determined by the contours of an obsession. Some time ago William Skidelsky became a fan of Roger Federer.
In Federer and Me Skidelsky sheds light on the greatest tennis player of all time. Through the story of one fan’s obsession with his idol, he explores: the role of aesthetics in sport; the psychology of fandom; the relationship between sport and technology; the role of family dynamics in forging identity. Thought-provoking and entertaining, funny and touching, it is a personal account of a devotion that, to the extent that it is shared by millions, isn’t personal at all.
I'm about halfway through the book and so far it's been pretty good to read. The author is a journalist here in the UK who writes for a number of publications and although he's a few years older than me there are quite a few similarities to my own journey of becoming a Fed fan which has made it an enjoyable read.
It's not the sort of book you're going to pick up facts or learn more about the game from (aside from a chapter about racquet and string technology) but if you're a big Federer fan and enjoy reading the fan stories here on my blog it's going to be a book you will enjoy. Release date is 4th of June and you pre order it on Amazon below priced at £16.99 for the hardcover. There's also a Kindle Version for £9.99 which is available right now.
Mission EnduraCool™ Instant Cooling Towel
The second product is a new cooling towel called the Mission EnduraCool™ Instant Cooling Towel. It's nothing like your typical court towel though as to use it you:
- Soak it with water
- Wring it out
- Snap it forcefully a few times
- Let the cooling technology kick in
I had no idea what to expect from it but it gets seriously cold with just a couple of snaps and stays like that for quite a long time. I guess really it's a bit like an ice towel without the need for ice cubes, having to wrap them in a towel and then tie the ends with elastic bands. And what sort of club player goes to that sort of trouble? 😆
It's probably more suited to warmer climates than the UK so if you play tennis (or any spend time outdoors in the sun) over in the Americas, Australasia, the Far East or some of the warmer places in Europe then it will be pretty useful on those really hot / humid days.
I'll be using it if we get any really warm days here in the North of England and I think it's a pretty cool product, not sure I'd have gone out and bought one myself though so I'm not going to tell you it's a must have product but one to consider.
Let me know your thoughts on the draw 🙂