Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Little trouble in big China

I'm a little late on posting something about the Masters Cup ending (perhaps its because I'm afraid to show my face after my picks didn't go as planned!), but congrats to Novak Djokovic for winning the whole thing, with minimal worries. It's funny: He didn't have to face the guys in front of him or the guy right behind him, but he did beat the guys who beat the guys, which definitely counts!

Last night, I was watching that Masters Cup highlight show on the tennis channel, and I came away with some thoughts about some of the guys. See if this makes sense:

• Roger Federer needs to play a little bigger: "Dude, what in the world are you talking about?" (I always like to anticipate your thoughts on something I write. : ) What I mean is, I don't think he can afford to rally with Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal next year. Shorter points and flatter shots, I think, are the key for him.

• Andy Murray is one of the best scramblers ever: Did you see those balls he tracked down? And what he did with them when he got there? Amazing!

• Another Murray one—he still plays too cute sometimes: He's doing some great things and playing more aggressively, but there are still too many drop shots and looped balls coming off his racquet. He should stick the ball even more.

• Nikolay Davydenko needs a better serve: He's even admitting as much. He just gets no free points when he's serving. Maybe one or two crept in, but I didn't see them. He still wins a lot, though.

• Gilles Simon is all right: You know, I just wasn't convinced about him, but the dude's a scrapper, something you always have to admire. And I guess beating Federer twice in one year is nothing to sneeze at!

That's it, everyone else is perfect! Just kidding, of course. It was, though, a pretty good tournament to wrap up an eventful regular season. Now it's on to Davis Cup, aka Van time!

(Photo: Getty Images)


heyheyhey said...

That entire tournament was just sad. Players were dropping like flies from fatigue or injury. We've been screaming about the ATP & WTA schedules for years, but money always wins out. I just hate where the state of tennis is right now.

Congrats to Novak, though. I don't expect him to advance next year, unless he has a major change (maturation or separation from his posse.)

Murray is going to win hist first slam next year. Simon will be in the top 5. I would love to see him or Tsonga win the French, but that will depend on Nadal's health.

TopSpin said...

Hey Van...

Great observations...

Federer shortening points against Murray/Nadal: Quite - provided he can keep his cool and not send the ball hurtling past the baseline, which is what he appears to have been doing all season.

Murray the Scrambler: I'd add Nadal to that as well - its amazing the touch he retains sometimes having run full court - but Murrays very much the man of the moment...

Jodi said...

Against Nadal, definitely, Federer needs to shorten the points - otherwise Nadal sort of digs in and it just gets difficult. I think Roger can still go toe to toe with Murray, though, provided he is in health - but a few shorter points never hurt anyone!

van said...

• Hey Heyheyhey, what's up? Tennis could definitely use some changes. I think a commissioner who takes into account SOME of what the players say would be a good thing. I think Murray will win a Slam, too, but I don't know if Simon can make the top 5; he still has to get past Davydenko and Tsonga. I guess we'll see!

• Hey Topspin, thanks! Yeah, that was kind of weird how his forehand just went off at certain times this year. Could a coach help with that?

• What's up, Jodi? I think he could make a Sampras-like transformation and start getting into the net even more. There's more guys than Nadal out there with amazing baseline games. Seeing a few of them in a row could take a toll on him in the future.

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