Hi guys. Just in case you were wondering, I am enjoying this blog more than ever. Just because I started another tennis blog doesn’t mean I got bored with this one. I just have some extra free time on my hands right now and thought starting a blog about tennis in general would be a good idea. Blogging about Roger will never get old for me and I mean it when I say I am enjoying this blog more than ever. You might think it would be the opposite since Roger seems to be declining so much, but this part of his career is no different to me than any other. I look at his career as a whole and there is no part that is less special than another part. It has been an amazing career and we have been blessed as fans. At the moment Roger is in a battle to make the Masters Cup with several other players, including Stan, Gasquet, Tsonga, and Raonic.
I thought Murray was out until the end of the season, but it turns out there is a chance he may play in London. The top 4 has already qualified so if Murray plays there are only 4 spots left. The players I mentioned are close behind Roger in the race, especially Stan and Gasquet. Tsonga and Raonic is a little further back, but Raonic is playing well and is currently in the semis of Tokyo where he plays Dodig and has a great chance to make the final. Making the final in Tokyo would mean 300 points, which would put him right up there behind Roger as well. You can view the current live race rankings here. Even if Murray does not play in London there is still a chance Roger won’t qualify, given the way Raonic is playing. Raonic is very dangerous indoors and can keep his good results up too. Stan had a terrific US Open but his results suffered in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.
In Kuala Lumpur he was routined 6-4, 6-3 in the quarters by Bennetau and in Beijing he lost 6-3, 7-6(2) to Querrey in the 2nd round. It looks like he still has a hang over from his amazing US Open run but he will surely get it together soon. He didn’t play much in the run up to the US Open so he can’t be that tired. Anyway he did Roger a favor because given the way he was playing he could have won Kuala Lumpur and made quarters in Beijing, which would have put some distance between him and Roger in the race. As for Gasquet he beat Ferrer 6-3, 6-4 today which means he is right behind Roger as well. Can’t see him beating Djokovic though so he will remain behind Roger going into Shanghai. Finally Tsonga is a little further back but who knows if he can have some really good results in his remaining three events.
Nice pic of Roger at the art district in Shanghai today
Roger seems prepared though because it looks like he will take a wild card in Vienna if he doesn’t do well in Shanghai. So after all it does looks like he may add another event to his schedule if he feels he needs to. Also I made a mistake in my last post because I thought Paris was not on Roger’s schedule. I got confused with the whole schedule because Basel was not in Roger’s schedule at the start of the year and he added it later. So it is good to see he will play at least three more events and four more if he needs to before London. That is more like the urgency I like to see from Roger. Clearly the Masters Cup remains a priority for him. I think in the end he will qualify just because he is such a good indoor player and because I think he is currently on an upswing. But he has some very stiff competition because Stan, Gasquet, and Raonic are all playing very well right now.
Like I said Stan has struggled in his last two events but this is his first real chance to make the Masters Cup and he will no doubt want to make it count. I am finding this whole race to London quite interesting, especially since Roger’s place is still uncertain. This will give him added motivation to end the year strongly as well. I want to see him continue the form he showed in Cincy and the start of the US Open and finish the year on a high. In the mean time Roger has arrived in Shanghai in good spirits and will play doubles with China’s #1 player Ze Zhang. Interesting decision and I am in the dark as to the exact motivation behind it. The draw will of course be all important as Roger will be seeded 5th. Roger does not want to be drawn in Djokovic or Nadal’s quarter, especially not in the latter. He is not ready for Nadal.
He probably can’t beat Djokovic either but at least that would be better than losing to Nadal yet again. If he gets drawn in Berdych’s quarter things doesn’t exactly get much easier, so preferably he wants to be drawn in Ferrer’s quarter. The chances of that happening is 25% so Roger needs to be ready for whatever comes in the quarters of Shanghai. At least he has that option of taking the wild card in Vienna, which would be nice for us Fedfans. The Shanghai draw will be made tomorrow at 10:30 am local and I will make another post following that. I will also keep my eye on the Beijing semis which should produce some good tennis, and on Tokyo to see if Raonic can indeed make the final. I have been covering Beijing and Tokyo on The Tennis Analyst like I said I would, so check it out if you are following Beijing and Tokyo.