Sunday, November 29, 2009
Against extremely long odds. Nikolay Davydenko won the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London today. This seems nearly impossible because the tournament only hosts the top 8 male players in the world, of which Davydenko is ranked 7th (he was seeded 6th as Andy Roddick was no. 6 but out with injury). Ahead of Nikolay in the rankings were FedEx, Rafa, Choker, Murray and DelPo, and behind him were Gonzo and Soderling.
Davydenko lost to Djokovic in their opening Group B match earlier this week, but then he beat Rafa and then Soderling to advance. In the semifinals, he finally got the better of Federer, who had beaten Davydenko in their previous 12 meetings.To say Fed should've had the mental edge in that match is a massive understatement. But Davydenko played really strong in the semifinals to beat Fed 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, and in the finals to beat DelPo 6-3, 6-4 ,and he deserved the year-end title. Perhaps it shouldn't come as so much of a shock, since Davydenko actually made it to the Final match last year too, but the guys ranked above him had been so strong coming in, it's impressive he was able to string together so many back to back victories. It's a good indicator that next season the players ranked 4-8 are gonna be putting a lot more pressure on the guys who'd previously been sitting pretty as 1-4.
Poor, Rafa. He didn't win a match all tournament. 0-3 in round robin play. Dude's tired. He needs to go home, scarf down some chocolate chip cookies (and don't act like I'm making it up. I happen to know he's fond of them) and then dive back into to training for next season. He's a little mentally and physically out of it right now. But he's still my guy. I'll always root for him above all others. Have a good off-season Rafa! I look forward to blogging about your winning aways come January 2010. Vamos!