Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wk.45/46- WTF & Davis Cup Recaps

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

As it's the end of the season -- and because I was ill, and my schedule has been crazy as of late -- I decided to do the ATP WTF and the Davis Cup on the same page. I'm going to "Doctor Who"-it and sort of make it up as I go along. Anyways, in the past couple of weeks, I lost bets, broke into my own house, ran afoul of Serena Williams fans (I tried to point out her flaws in as diplomatic a way as possible, but I completely messed it up) and ordered two new Stephen King novels. Oh, happy Thanksgiving also, by the way. And ermm, happy Black Friday? Is there a term for that? Well, anyways I also watched the film "Gosford Park" (an obscure British flick) and plan to watch the so-bad-it's-good "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians."

Anyways, I think to close out the ATP season we should finish on a classic song. A song that will last through the ages. A song that will never die. The song that Rolling Stone magazine says is the greatest ever. A song that I love. A song by my favorite artist. A song full of deep meaning and insults a-plenty, too. It could only be...

...And, yes, you should sing along...

I got told the Czechs became the first nation ever to win the Hopman Cup (def. France), the Fed Cup (def. Serbia) and now the Davis Cup (def. Spain). OK, both Gasquet and Bartoli went away after a tight first set, and , OK, Jankovic was appalling, shocking, poor and -- frankly -- rubbish, and fine, Almagro completely choked and crumbled under the pressure. BUT take nothing away from the Czechs, they have two Wimbledon finals and several doubles slams on their side.

In the final (now just ATP, but well done Kvitova/Safarova, anyhoo), Ferrer was imperious. He's dropped just two sets this whole Davis Cup. I think the Spanish should have called upon Feli. Ferrer put Stepsy away and saw off Berdman, he was perfect and has won the most titles this year with 7, more than any other player. However, M.Lopez and Granollers losing in four to the Czechs was where this tie was lost. Fair play to the Czechs. They played excellently. They upset the odds and Almagro's already fragile mental state, too.

For the ATP WTF Ii'm just going to go from 8th best to the best. Also, this might be interesting to read if you haven't already: click here. I'm not just going on results, I'm going on form, who played the best tennis, who I feel exceeded their seedings and who didn't.

Before I do, though, a quick note on the alternates. Both wielding their one-handed backhands and their loopy forehands ,Almagro and Gasquet signed autographs and practised on the courts and behaved with dignity and exactly as you expect them to. It's taken Gasquet four years to get back to the top ten in the world and he hasn't finished inside it for 5 years. Despite not given the chance to play a match, they both played an important role well and big things will be expected next year. Gasquet got to four 4th rounds at slams this year. He was the only one of the six to not make the quarterfinals. More info here.

Also, Murray is the only person in the top ten to have never reached a clay final at any level. Right... onwards past distraction central, Tangentsville and Offtopic City all the way past Wherewasi to Backontrack Station.

Please note all grades are just for the WTF and I did borrow the idea from Beyond the Baseline for this week only.

*Wk.45-46 CHAMPIONS*
S: Novak Djokovic d. Roger Federer 7-6/7-5
D: Granollers/M.Lopez d. Bhupathi/Bopanna

S: Czech Republic d. Spain 3-2

...From the outset, it was clear he was just happy to be there. "It's sad to say, but this is the best I can do right now," "I'm playing horrible. I'm playing worse than horrible. I'm playing the worst tennis that I played in a long time. But I'm on court, behaving good, not throwing my racket, giving my best." That came after a love and four loss to JMDP. He also sarcastically said he was happy to have made it past an hour in his first two matches. He should have given up his place -- he struggled with a cold all week -- to the alternates who were both dying to play. Not great Janko, although he did nab a set from Ferrer, which was the one small redeeming thing from his poor week. GRADE: D-
...Picked to perhaps cause some upsets this week, he didn't. He didn't turn up and was very disappointing. He was meant to add some French flair, but in the end bowed out, grabbing just one set and being outclassed for most of the week. I think he'll struggle in 2013 unless he can somehow turn this bad run of form around. GRADE: C-
...He had Murray on the ropes and let him come back into it. He had a semi spot in his grasp, but let it go and choked away a lead as he has done before. He did beat Tsonga, though, and he played an excellent second set against Djokovic. Not great, but being put in the group of death was always going to be a big ask. GRADE: C+
...Poor Ferrer, always number five. He won two matches, but his inability to overcome Federer ,who has more power and more creativity, too, was always going to be a problem. Had he nabbed a set off Fed, beaten Tipsarevic in two, or beaten DelPo in two, he would have gone through in second. He played well and did his bit, but just looked outgunned against Federer. Always polite and always there, Ferrer showed yet again how good he is against all players not in the top four. GRADE: A-
...Scotland is currently undergoing a referendum on whether or not to separate from the UK. Anyways, after losing to Djokovic in a tight encounter which he should have won, Murray got another good start against Fed before giving it up, and from 4-2 up in the first would go on to get just four more games. Well done on getting out of the group of death, but he showed why he isn't quite ready to join the big boys yet. He isn't in the same class as the BIG THREE. Not now, but that time is drawing ever nearer. GRADE: A-
...Was ranked at around #11/#12 at the beginning of the year and now -- I think -- he is ready to challenge for slams again. Why? Because his forehand up the line has become the weapon it was 3 long years ago. His FUTL was devastating before and he was a wrecking ball this week using it. He smashed through Fed, and then smashed Djokovic in the first set before eventually being worn down by the Serb's defensive skills. It's interesting how many of the top ten can overpower Djokovic, actually. Not beat him, but they just have more power. He was always more defensive than offensive. Anyways, look for Delpo to make one slam final at least next year. GRADE: A+
...Not bad for an old man, eh? He justified his second seeded billing and a loss to a scarily on-form DelPo was forgivable. Had he beaten DelPo I would have placed him top, as I believe he played better and more exciting tennis this week than Djokovic and I think he let the final get away from him a bit. His schedule for 2013 has been released. He is skipping Miami and also Basel. He can do this because he is now 31. The ATP lets you do what you want mostly schedule-wise once you fit a set amount of criteria. He now does fit enough of those so he can do this. Anyway, look for a slam next year from him, and it could be anywhere except Paris unless Nadal isn’t there. In that case, he is probably the favorite. Well I think his 5 previous finals and the fact he's now the only player on the circuit (not named Nadal) to have a men's French Open under his belt says that he's the favorite in Rafa's absence. GRADE: A+
...I guess once more ugly tennis wins the day. He won just one or two more points than Federer in the final. He hit less winners, more unforced errors, less aces and came to the net less, too. He doesn't play particularly imaginative tennis mostly, and whereas Federer's rivalry with Nadal was friendly, it seems to be that Federer doesn't view this one as friendly as his Fedal rivalry. He narrowly came through against Murray in the group, edged Berdman out in the second and then just ground his way into the final where he was dominated from start to finish pretty much (he really was) but still came out the winner in two sets .Look for him to play at least three slam finals nxt year. He played 3 this year and won two.GRADE: A+/A-.

My Match of the week was Federer outplaying Djokovic but losing in straight sets, I still don't realise how that happened. Also good was Murray's comeback win over Berdych, Del Potro's win over Fed and then his loss to Djokovic. In the Davis Cup, Berdych def. Almagro and the doubles rubber were both very good.

Right, I'll be writing the ATP review soon and also the 2013 preview, but my feel good moment or moments this week is all to do with snowfall and the first snowfall of the season, in particular:

Read more!


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