Aussie Tennis Professional Marinko Matosevic has always been an interesting character as his nick name 'Mad Dog' suggests. I wonder if he had his time again would he say something a little different in regards to his preview of the semi final clash against James Duckworth at the Australian Open Wild card play-offs. This was what he said " I've never lost to him, I don't think I've lost a set, so I should win". That's what Marinko said.
Tennis has traditionally been full of famous quotes, bold statements and even more bizarre predictions . I remember once Yevgeny Kafelnikov who was famous for his talking came up with one for the reporters when he told them to put their money on him in a quarter final match at the Australian Open in 1996 against Becker. The German belted Yevgeny in straight. Nice tip.
Back to the Wild card play- offs in Melbourne.
Marinko has been as high as World number 39 and he has played some big matches against some big names. In fact I dedicated two chapters to Marinko in which I labelled him 'the luckiest tennis player' because he kept getting tough draws. I consider that 'lucky' because a player can go through their whole career and lose early in the big tournaments to lower ranked players who are no house hold names. Some however get to play the World's best and Marinko has faced them all including Federer at the US Open in the first round. If ever you need an idea on where your game is at why not start at the top and work your way down ??
Now Marinko is a bit of a character but saying that he 'should win' against a player such as Duckworth is just asking for trouble as the 'Duck' can play the game well. Just because his ranking is outside the top 100 in the World does not mean he is an easy beat. Do people really appreciate guys ranked 120 ? Think about it. There are a hell of a lot of tennis players in the World trying to make a living and if a guy makes it inside the top 300 well I would say hats off to you, that is an achievement but in reality that aint going to make you a living. Top 100 will do that for you but the Tax Man will take some as well as the airlines for a flight or two so maybe top 70 will allow you some extra spending money after expenses.
Back to the Wild card play-offs in Melbourne (again ).
The 'Duck' won, yep he beat the guy who said that he should win because he had never lost to that particular opponent before and had not even dropped a set. The problem is this Champ, you have been injured and your ranking has dropped dramatically because of it so therefor your opponents lately have not been the same as who you have been used to playing against. Duckworth however has a much higher ranking and has been playing against some big names himself such as Nishikori and Coric lately.
If you do the stats on Marinko then you will see some rather alarming results. If you take his last eight opponents you will notice a trend. Their combined ranking is around 6000, that's a fact, so doing the sums on that I suppose he has been playing guys with rankings way outside the top echelon of players who can test you as a person and a player. As I said earlier it is not his fault, he has been injured, fact of life in a sport such as tennis if you are playing at the highest level.
Duckworth won a tight four set match 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 and it doesn't get much tougher than that as far as working your way towards a first round entry to your home town Grand Slam. He is now one match away from achieving that goal against fellow Aussie Ben Mitchell.
Marinko is a character of World tennis no doubt about it and he has made a handy living but saying that he should win against someone who has been playing tougher matches than he has lately was quite possibly not the smartest thing to say.
Life is a learning experience, every day, every match, every moment, every opponent. Funny game is tennis.........