Thursday, November 11, 2010

Elite Eight (and Mr Melzer)

The line up is set for the World Tour Finals. The lucky three to get through are Roddick, Ferrer and Berdych. I wish Melzer had made it through instead of Berdych, but as was pointed out to me yesterday by reader Yolita (thanks!), this was in fact mathematically impossible. Pretty sure the only way we get Melzer now is if one of the Elite Eight shuts down for the year, and I don't want that to happen.

This qualification happened because Monfils beat Verdasco, who I am very glad did not qualify - he really didn't deserve it. Berdych lost to Davydenko (bit sad he wasn't in contention, but then, he didn't really do anything to deserve it, apart from having a cracker start to the year) but is still through, and Melzer came through to face Federer in the quarters, but is not through. Oh, and Llodra beat Djokovic.

The way he's playing at the moment, Berdych is going to be easy pickings for the other dudes at the WTF, and - I don't want to jinx it, especially because he made the finals of Basel last week, but nonetheless - I have a sneaking suspicion we might see Djokovic go 0 and 3 as well. Unless, of course, Berdych and Djokovic are in the same group, in which case Novak's getting at least one win. Djokovic's results have actually not been that bad of late, Llodra-loss today aside, but I am just spectacularly unconvinced by his play. Maybe it's just because he's been tagged twice by Federer since the US Open and I'm biased, but he feels a little lackadaisical to me at the mo.

But he ain't got nothing on Berdych.

Also, I think we have to give a big shout out to Andy Roddick, forever the forgotten quantity of the top ten. His longevity gets overlooked because of the longevity of his peer Federer - understandable, due to their comparative success rates - but qualifying for the WTF eight times in a row? Dude, that is super. Well done, A-Rod. You keep on keeping on. And who knows? If you end up in a group with Berdych and Djokovic (or even if you don't), you might find yourself in the semis or even in the final of the WTF. I would be a little surprised if it happened, but not a lot surprised. And when your field contains the like of Nadal, Federer, Murray, Soderling and, yes, Djokovic, that is saying something.

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