(Rafa is ready for the Year-End Championship!)
So while those of us here in The New World will be celebrating the Thanksgiving Holidays this week, across the Atlantic, nobody really cares about that too much. Instead, they are focused on TENNIS! The 2011 ATP World Tour Finals are happening in London right now! The top 8 players of the season face off - first in two round robin groups, followed by single elimination semis for the two in each group with the best records, and the winners of those face off in the finals! Woohoo!
Here's how the two groups are comprised, by current rank:
1. Novak Djokovic - SRB
3. Andy Murray -GBR
5. David Ferrer - ESP
7. Jurgen Melzer - GER
2. Our Hero, Rafael Nadal ESP
4. Roger Federer - SUI
6. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - FRA
8. Mardy Fish - USA
The Finals are played on an indoor hardcourt, which with its quickness and ball bounce is least suited to Rafa's game. This is one major tournament he has never won. It will be tough for him to take the title in best of 3 set play. But this is an interesting field this year of contenders this year and he might have an opening. Djokovic has been dealing with some nagging injuries at the end of his stellar season, so he might not be in the best condition to take this title. Federer hasn't won a Major in awhile, but he comes in here having won his last two tournaments and looking great. Murray is a giant question mark. Ferrer can be a real threat if he's mentally and physically peaking at the right time. Fish and Tsonga I don't really think have a shot, but Tsonga has some impressive wins over Federer, so we'll see how it all shakes down. Rafa should definitely make it to the semis, but from there forward it's anyone's guess who actually makes it through to the Final match. He hasn't played at all since mid-October, opting instead to mentally and physically recharge from his string of losses in Finals this year. It should be really exciting how these guys all match up right now
After one round played in both groups, the current standings are:
It was a good first round. The only real upset was Ferrer over Murray (who seems to be injured) but all the
other matches went to a decisive third set. Nadal and Federer face off in the next round. Should be an exciting match and it should tell us if Nadal taking off so much of the fall season was the right choice for his match readiness. I'm sure hoping Rafa can do it. Vamos!