Friday, October 31, 2008

A Not-Quite-Motley Crew

Roger Federer achieved a new milestone this morning, though I'm not sure it's necessarily the one he'll be trotting out to tell his grandchildren. For the first time in 763 ATP level matches, he withdrew in the middle of a tournament.
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He's still never retired during a match at the ATP level - he gave James Blake a walkover today due to a stiff back. I suppose with Shanghai round the corner he'd rather be safe than sorry. It's still a bit sad, though, and I'm sure he's not too thrilled with himself, as it seems to mean something to him. I remember him saying that, 'Roger Federer doesn't pull out - otherwise he doesn't walk on court.' Which I suppose he held to, because he didn't walk on court. So I doubt somehow that this will be a harbinger of things to come. He's certainly not going to turn into a Djokovic!
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Someone that did retire during a match today was Rafa Nadal, after losing the first set 6-1 to Nikolay Davydenko. Add to that Djokovic's defeat early in the week and Murray's loss to Nalbandian today, and we have a crew of semi finalists who... well, not quite motley, but certainly not the four guys you'd expect, given that the four guys you'd expect would be the Big Three plus Murray (the Big Four? Can we legitimately say that yet?) But instead we have Nikolay Davydenko, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, James Blake and David Nalbandian.
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I have to say that I'm pulling for Tsonga, because he really deserves a big title and it would be nice for him to do it in front of a home crowd. Blake's been close a couple of times, Nalbandian is the defending champion and Davydenko has a Masters shield already this year. It's really open. Any one of these four guys could take it out. Much as I always want Federer to win things, it's kind of nice to have things so unpredictable. This should be a dog fight of a tournament, right down to the last point.
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Today's Results
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BNP Paribas Masters (Paris)
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James Blake def. Roger Federer, walkover
Nikolay Davydenko def. Rafael Nadal, 6-1 retired
David Nalbandian def. Andy Murray, 7-6 (7-3) 6-3
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Andy Roddick, 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-5)
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Bell Challenge (Quebec)
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Nadia Petrova def. Melinda Czink, 6-1 6-4
Bethanie Mattek def. Melanie Oudin, 7-6 (9-7) 6-1
Angela Haynes def. Nathalie Dechy, 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3

2 comments:

TopSpin said...

Shame about Federer and Nadal, but for once its not going to lead to an anti climax as all the remaining players are worthy contenders.

Its a particularly great opportunity for Tsonga who has the tools to win here; doing that should give him a top ten spot sooner rather than later.

I really want this to be his breakthrough year as I think he belongs somewhere near the top. I thought he was going to do it earlier after his Aussie Open run. Lets hope injuries don't damage his chances of getting to the top and staying there.

http://tennisisserved.blogspot.com

Jodi said...

I am with you on Tsonga, 100%. I would love to see him win here and cap off a fantastic year!