Okay, I know this is probably the only sports blog to have the words “baby shower” appear in the first sentence (or any part) of a post, but trust me, these baby showers can be pretty distracting, especially when the tennis-blogger-turned-mommy-to-be has a house full of guests to entertain (happily!). So somehow, Bercy completely got away from me (YAY, DAVEEED!) and the World Tour Finals started with all the men-in-suits shots and giant
racquet champagne bottle promos and I’ve typed nary a word. Well, rest assured, now that the pink bows have been untied and the cupcake tree’s dismantled, this tennis blogger has her head back in the game!
A quick look at the groups:
Group A: Novak Djokvoic, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Not really a surprise, here, that Nole managed Jo-Dubs in two sets and Berdych stretched Murray to three in Monday’s round robin action. I’m still thinking Tomas has a chance to do some damage, if he can manage to get to the semis. We’ll see if Nole or Jo gives him the opportunity to sneak into the final four and then terrorize the field with those whiplash shots and cold, serial killer eyes of his. All in all, this is probably the “stronger” group – Nole and Andy will be well rested and Big Berd can never be underestimated. I’d love to say the same things about Jo, but I don’t think either are true in his case – he seems both restless and fully capable of being underestimated. Though I would love to be proven wrong.
Group B: Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro, Janko Tipsarevic
Roger plays Janko Tipsarevic on Tuesday. He’s never lost to Janko before, despite some close calls, but could be in for a good workout tomorrow on the blue fast courts. Janko loves the big moments. The match should be a good way for Roger to sink into the tournament and assess his game, assuming all that “niggling” stuff has been dealt with since Basel. Del Potro, who vanquished Roger in his hometown two weekends ago, will play this weekend’s hero, David Ferrer in Tuesday’s night match. It seems unbelievable that David could continue his winning ways just a couple days after winning the biggest title of his career – then again, he’s probably one of the few players fit and focused enough to have a shot. The man will never stop jogging at the baseline, itching to return a serve. But the real question for me with Group B is: Can Del Potro continue his late season surge? I think he’s the likeliest “spoiler” of the eight, if there really can be a spoiler at the World Tour Finals.
I’m looking forward to the tennis this week in London. It’s a quality roster (though I’m finding myself wishing we could add a wild card Jerzy Janowicz or Michael Llodra type, just to mix things up) and an exciting event. Even though the year ending No. 1 is already determined, the winner can still send one of those always valuable “statements” to the rest of the field going into 2013. If it’s Del Potro holding that gorgeous be-ribboned trophy at the end, we who’s da man Down Under. If it’s Roger, we can talk about recapturing the No. 1 ASAP. If it’s Andy, he’s going to win a major next season. If it’s Nole, well, the bar has been set stratospherically high. (Rafa, of course, remains the man in the shadows, regardless of the outcome – an intriguing storyline already set-up and ready to go.) I do wish, now, that there was a week of rest after Bercy, to give the guys a break and to give all of us a few days more of anticipation. What are your thoughts on the ultimate tournament of the ATP’s season?