Thursday, November 10, 2011

Men's 2011 Tennis Season Winding Down, Novak Djovakic To End Season #1

So if you're like most casual tennis fans, you probably haven't thought much about men's tennis since the end of the US Open in September.  What have you missed?

  • In October, Novak Djokovic clinched the #1 ranking through the end of the year (and honestly, for quite a long time into next year as long as he plays).  Djokovic took several weeks off due to injury following the Open.  He came back to fall in the semi-finals at the Swiss Indoors, and is currently playing in the Paris Masters.
  • Rafael Nadal has continued to struggle.  He lost to Andy Murray in the Japan Open Championships in October, and then in the third round of the Shanghai Masters to 21st-ranked Florian Meyer.
  • Andy Murray has capitalized off his strong hard court season and has played very well since the US Open.  He's won all three tournaments (Thailand Open, Japan Open, Shanghai Masters) that he entered, and just beat Andy Roddick at the Paris Masters.  
  • Roger Federer also decreased his playing schedule since the US Open.  He did win the Swiss Indoors, and is currently playing in the Paris Masters.
  • However, because of Andy Murray's late-season surge, Murray has overtaken Roger Federer as the #3-ranked player in the world for the FIRST TIME EVER.
  • How far ahead is Djokovic from the rest of the pack in the rankings?  Nadal, at #2 (9,375 points), is closer to #4 Federer (5,670) in the rankings than he is to Djokovic (13,295).   
  • Andy Roddick, after his terrible 2011 season that has seen him go just 32-15, is now ranked 15th.  This is the lowest ranking he's had in ten years.
After the Paris Masters is over, there is still one great tournament to finish out the 2011 season: the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.  The top eight ranked players on the ATP tour are invited to play against each other, with the winner receiving a very lucrative 2.23 million pounds (or, approximately $3.5 million).

With Andy Murray playing exceptionally well, I'd put him up as a favorite for this tournament.  Neither Nadal nor Djokovic have played especially well in the past few months.  However, it's been a fantastic year of tennis and it would be only fitting if 2011 went out with a bang here.

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