Saturday, February 28, 2015

Some Thoughts From Dubai and Acapulco

Ryan Harrison:  To say Ryan Harrison needed a big week is an understatement, and he more than delivered.  He battled through qualifying to reach the semifinals of Acapulco, before going down to David Ferrer.  At this point, we don't know if this week was a fluke or a sign of things to come.  In the last two months he has losses to Dennis Novikov and Wayne Odesnik, but looked to be in better form in Memphis as well as AcapulcoHarrison clearly lost confidence in himself over the last couple of years, but maybe a few good results is all he needs to get it back.  It's too soon to say Harrison is officially back, but he's starting to put himself back into the conversation of being relevant.

Borna Coric:  18 year old Coric had been struggling early in 2015, and it looked like Dubai would be more of the same after he failed to qualify.  However, he took advantage of a lucky loser spot and easily defeated Andy Murray on his way to the semis.  While Federer showed him he still has a few things to learn, it was a very impressive run for Coric.  It seems like Coric is still a couple of years away from going deep in tournaments on a consistent basis, but is capable of beating nearly anyone on a particular day.  By the time he's 21 or 22, no one should be surprised if he's competing for grand slam titles. 

Roger Federer:  Federer was back in peak form at Dubai, taking out Djokovic to win the title.  He sent a signal that his loss to Seppi in Australia was a fluke, and he's going to once again be one of the best players in the world in 2015.  While the fast court in Dubai clearly gave Federer an advantage against Djokovic that he won't have nearly anywhere else, it was an impressive victory nonetheless.  Federer's competition may have been hoping he was beginning to decline, but it's clear the Swiss legend has lost more to give.

Grigor Dimitrov:  Before 2015 began, many people (myself included) thought Dimitrov was going to take another big step forward and become one of the best players in the world.  While he tailed off a bit at the end of 2014, it seemed like Dimitrov was in peak position to take off in 2015.  After losses to Gilles Muller and Ryan Harrison in his last two events, Dimitrov must be wondering what's going wrong.  Maybe he'll turn his season around with strong performances in Indian Wells and Miami, but if he goes out early in these events it will officially be time to worry.  It's not clear if his struggles are stemming from technical problems (a backhand that can be exposed despite its smoothness), a simple lack of consistency or a lack of mental toughness, but the Tour better hope Dimitrov gets it figured out quickly.    

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