Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Containing the Excitement
So we are down to the final 4 at Roland Garros. Absolutely no surprise with the men and currently, I'd have to stick with Djokovic for the crown. Nadal has not been at his best, though he upped his game against Soderling, who started their quarter final looking a decent prospect for an upset. I'm gonna stick with my prediction of Nadal v Djokovic for the final. Murray has a great chance to defeat Rafa but as we've seen all week, his concentration dips up and down alarmingly in these best of 5 set ties and whilst he's gotten away with it against the likes of Troicki and Chela , he won't get that luxury against any of the top 3. But you never know, he may just realise that in the semi and pull off a shock. He won't get a better chance on clay.
The women's event has been very interesting. My two big tips, Azarenka and Kvitova, were both knocked out by Li Na. She has really knuckled down this tournament as since her defeat in the Australian Open final, she basically lost focus and was playing poorly. She's rectified that in Paris and has shown greater control in her play, instead of having matches where she'd just look to blast every ball for a winner. She is constructing points much better and the consistency in her groundstrokes is phenomenal right now. But I've said all along that Sharapova will take some stopping and she's my new tip to win this. Li has the game to beat her but the way Maria is playing, I think she's pretty much unplayable. Her groundstrokes are so deep and consistent and she's tightened up on her serving from earlier in the year. On these quick clay courts with the speedy Babolat balls, it's made for a big hitter this year and you can see that in the final 4, with 3 of the protagonists playing a power game more suited traditionally to hard courts.
In the other semi, Schiavone is having a great tournament but really, Pavlyuchenkova should've knocked her out. The Russian, one of my favourite players, demolished her for a set but she tends to lose concentration too easily. She has all the shots and has wonderful control of her power, something which most women her age tend to struggle with. But her inexperience really showed as she threw away a semi-final berth. I doubt Bartoli would do that, she's been around a long time and has beaten top 10 players on numerous occassions. I'm not a fan of the French woman. All her jumping around and frantic practice swings in between points are annoying and she seems to have added manic fist clenching and piercing screeches of 'ALLEZ!' after pretty much every point now. And I'm sure her Dad was coaching her from the stands in the quarter final. I hope Franny does her good and proper, I'd much rather see her exciting brand of all-court tennis and showmanship than the metronomic Bartoli in the final. The key could be Bartoli's movement. I thought she did remarkably well against Kuznetsova, retrieving a lot of balls along the baseline but let's face it, Kuzzy played like a Klown and lost a match she really should have won; on clay against an opponent who was just far too wound-up and on edge. Schiavone should be able to take advantage of Bartoli's poor movement and get her sweating to reach drop shots and slices. Whatever happens, I don't see either winning the final, whoever they play.
As for me, well right now, I'm feeling fantastic. I'm so excited about the way my trading is going and the potential that is finally being realised. Ever since the first 3 days of The French Open, where I ballsed-up massively, I've produced a week of undoubtedly the best trading I've ever done. I've had the odd week where I've made more money but never have I had such a high ROI and most importantly, never have I felt so at ease with my system or trading in general. I'm really enjoying every day now and the self-belief that had been battered out of me during 'The Dark Ages', has gradually filtered back, to the point where I now have to struggle to contain it! I'm very wary of getting over-confident, so it is genuinely something I look to keep in check as part of my daily goals but nonetheless, it certainly feels good to experience it.
With only 6 games left this week, (the second week of any Grand Slam is always a pisser for traders) I will be taking the time for some much needed refreshment and planning time. My only slight worry now is how the change from clay to the grass court season, which begins next week, will affect my trading. I remember struggling with it last year, though the difference between my system and myself as a trader since then, is enormous, so adjusting shouldn't cause too many issues. The grass courts are actually getting slower these days and the clay courts faster, so the difference between Roland Garros and Wimbledon is not as pronounced as it has been in the past. But I do enjoy the surface changes that appear throughout the year, adds variety and a new challenge for me as a trader. If all goes well in the next couple of weeks, I will be increasing my stakes again for Wimbledon and this time, they will be as high as I was using at the start of this blog. Exciting times ahead!