Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by rechedelphar, Jan 12, 2007.
The groups will be announced tomorrow. Should be interesting!
Okay, the groups have been announced!!!!
Well, as promised, I?m giving my own little preview on the season ending finale taking place in Shanghai, in just a matter of days!!!!
I?m going to break it down into the players and what their highlights have been this year, and I?ll break it into several posts.
1- Roger Federer ? This year has been an interesting one for the arguably the greatest player to have ever played the game. There have been some serious highs, and some unexpected lows that have highlighted the year, including some unusual losses. Federer won the Australian Open back in January without dropping a single set, emulating Borg who was the last man to do so back at the French Open in 1980. His match against Andy Roddick in the semi finals is considered by many as the greatest match ever played by one player.
After winning his fourth title in Dubai, in five straight finals there, he had put together a winning streak of an incredible 41 matches. The titles he won during that stretch include the US Open 2006, Davis Cup World Group Qualifier, Tokyo, AMS Madrid, Basel, TMC Shanghai, Australian Open 2007 and Dubai. It was the longest streak since Vilas went on a 46 match winning streak back in 1977, which also stands as the open era record.
After reaching such astronomical heights, he was stunned in his first match by returning Guillermo Canas, who had won the clay court title in Brazil in the lead up. Federer made a lot of uncharacteristic shots, and hit too many unforced errors. It was dismissed as a minor blip, but then came the loss to Canas in Miami only a week later. The two losses early on made Federer lose a huge amount of points, a lot of which were swallowed by Nadal, and Djokovic in particular.
The clay season had begun, and many people were talking about the relationship Federer had with Roach, his part time coach. Federer lost to Nadal in Monte Carlo, but was stunned to lose to Volandri in Rome. Roger parted ways with Roach, and for the first time since he became number one had gone four tournaments without a win.
Hamburg, and Germany in general has always been good to Federer, having won titles in Munich, Halle, and Hamburg. He played Nadal in the final, who was on an incredible 81 match winning streak, and after losing the first set won his first ever match against the Spaniard on clay, snapping the win streak and winning the final set without loss of a single game.
At French Open, Federer suffered heartache again against Nadal in the final, losing an intense battle in four sets. However, he rebounded in style, and took revenge against his arch nemesis in the Wimbledon final, defeating Nadal in an epic five set battle, considered to be the best match of the year. In doing so, he equaled the five straight wins by Borg.
The US Open series this year was his best. He lost the final to an inspired Djokovic in the final set tie breaker, but managed to capture the Cincinnati Masters title, his 14th in all against Blake. Federer then went on to defend his US Open championship, and become the first man in the open era to win four straight titles, defeating Djokovic in the final.
The indoor season resulted in back to back losses at the hands of a resurgent David Nalbandian, who went on to capture titles in Madrid and Paris. Federer did get some success, winning the title in his hometown of Basel, and solidifying his spot as the year end number one for the fourth straight year.
2 - Rafael Nadal ? The reigning King of Clay. Nadal had a shaky start to 2007, losing in Chennai, and Sydney in the lead up to the Australian Open, where many had tipped him to go all the way. Nadal had the best match of the Slam against Murray, a thrilling five set battle, before bowing out to Gonzalez in three straight sets. The back luck continued, as he lost his Dubai title to Federer in February.
Nadal had gone seven months without reaching a final, and he was beginning to doubt himself a bit, as question were raised about his level of play. In March that all changed, Rafael became the dominant player, winning the title in Indian Wells after defeating Djokovic in final. Novak got his revenge one week later in Miami quarter finals, but now Nadal had the momentum he needed.
Clay season had begun and Rafael had an enormous amount of points to defend. He won his third straight title in Monte Carlo, defeating Federer in straight sets. The streak continued through Barcelona, defeating Canas, and his third straight win in Rome against Gonzalez, taking revenge for his Aus Open loss. He went into Hamburg undefeated on clay since losing to Igor Andreev in Valencia back in April 2005. Federer snapped his winning streak in the final, at 81 straight wins.
Nadal rebounded defeating Federer for his third straight Roland Garros title in Paris, and being the first man since Borg to win three straight French Opens back in 1980. Nadal reached the final of Wimbledon again, but lost to Federer in a dramatic fifth set.
The hard courts of the US were not kind to him, lingering injuries from overplaying, including winning the title in Stuttgart on clay before going to Montreal worked against him. He lost in every event, not making a single final, including a loss to fellow Spaniard Ferrer in the fourth round in New York.
Nadal took time off before returning in Madrid, but was destroyed at the hands of Nalbandian in their first ever match. One week later, Nadal reached the final of Paris, only to blown away again by the Argentine. Nalbandian ended Nadal?s perfect 26 straight match streak in Paris.
Nadal ends the year for the third straight year as the number two.
wow, nice work so far! Very good stuff
3 ? Novak Djokovic ? 2007 has been about the rise and rise of the Serbinator. His intentions to dominate the game were made clear in the very first week of season, when he won the title in Adelaide on rebound ace. Novak stirred up a bit of controversy with the words the followed his win, and his lead up into the first slam of the year in Melbourne, declaring that Federer?s time was up and he was the one who was going to end his reign.
The two met in the fourth round, in what many thought could be the most intense match of all. However, on the day, Roger was a class above, winning in straight sets. Novak would go on to lose to Federer again in Dubai the following month.
This did not hinder his progress to the upper echelons of the game, or his desire. It in fact, pushed him further than anyone had thought. Djokovic reached the final of Indian Wells, the first Masters Series event of the year, but due to nerves playing a big part, and some inspirational tennis by Nadal, he lost. Novak was not to be denied, he bounced back only a week later, defeating Nadal, Murray and Canas in succession to win the Miami masters. His first shield. He also became the youngest winner of the title at 19, the record was orignally held by Agassi, who won the title at 20 back in 1990. Agassi still holds the record for the oldest winner of the Miami title at 33.
Novak carried his great form onto the red clay of Europe, winning the title in Estoril, before a few losses to Nadal and Moya in Rome and Hamburg respectively. Roland Garros came around, and Djokovic found his game, reaching his first ever slam semi, before again falling to Nadal.
Wimbledon 2007 was highlighted by many things, but one was certainly the in-form Serb. His intense battles with Hewitt, Baghdatis took their toll, along with the rain delay scheduling. He suffered from blisters in his left foot, and despite winning the first set against Nadal in the semis, he was forced to retire.
Djokovic bounced back in style in the Masters Series event in Montreal, defeating a host of high caliber players on route to his second shield of the year, including Nalbandian, Roddick, Nadal, and Federer. It was the first time since Boris Becker in 1994 that a player defeated the top three players, in Roddick, Nadal and Federer in the same event. It was also his first ever victory against defending champion Roger.
Roger got his revenge at the US Open, defeating the Serb in straight sets for his 12th Grand Slam title.
Novak returned after a few weeks off, winning the title in Vienna. He ends the year at number three in the world.
4 ? Davydenko ? It has been another consistent year for the hard working Russian, however the titles have been scarce. But this year controversy has surrounded the world number 4. After a disappointing start to the year, only reaching one semi final in Doha, Davydenko found some fire during the Masters Series event in Rome, pushing Nadal all the way in their clash in the semi finals.
Nikolay kept the intensity up, reaching his second Roland Garros semi final, before losing to Federer in three tight sets. After another poor performance at Wimbledon, Davydenko went to play in Poland where he made the biggest news of the year.
There was huge amount of money placed on the Russian losing a match to a relatively unknown Argentine player, called Arguello. Nikolay retired in the match, trailing the third set against MartÃn Vassallo Arguello, and the scandal hit the mainstream media. The Russian has denied, and continues to deny the allegations about his involvement in match fixing.
Davydenko has a good US hardcourt season, reaching the semi finals of the US Open before bowing out to Federer in straight sets.
He managed to win the title in Moscow, securing his place at number four in the race, but things continued to get worse elsewhere. He was accused by the Umpire in St.Petersberg for not trying, and again in the defense of his Paris Masters title.
Davydenko ends the year as world number four.
5 ? Roddick ? Andy looked like, as he said with his own words, that he was getting closer to Roger. The win in Kooyong made everyone talk, but Federer had used the exhibition as training only. Roddick was hungry going into the Aus Open, and along with Novak and Rafael, was chosen to dethrone the defending champion.
The match ended up being a brutal reality check for Roddick, as Federer broke him in total seven times, six times in succession in their semi final clash.
Roddick continued to march ahead, and put the loss behind him, making the semi finals of San Jose, and the final of Memphis, losing to Haas. Andy made the semi final of Indian Wells and a much anticipated showdown with Nadal, however the Spaniard bullied him from the start, defeating him comfortably.
Roddick had a poor clay season, losing to Andreev in the first round at Roland Garros. In June, he was back on the grass, winning the title in Queens, to join Hewitt as a four time winner of the title. Wimbledon resulted in more heartache, as he lost to Gasquet after having won the first two sets. Gasquet hit an incredible 90 winners in the match.
Andy returned to the US Open series, winning the title in Washington, but failed to go far in the Masters Series events. His unlucky draw at the US Open placed him against Federer in the quarters, where he lost in straight sets.
Roddick has not played since leading the US into the Davis Cup final in September, and will end the year as world number five.
6 ? Ferrer ? This has been a career year for arguably the fastest player on the tour. He started the year with a title in Auckland, defeating fellow Spaniard Robredo in the final. Ferrer put together a series of quarter final appearances including Indian Wells, Monte Carlo and Hamburg, along with a semi in Barcelona. David picked up a second title in Bastad, following Wimbledon.
Ferrer, for the standard he was playing elsewhere did not do well at the first three slams, losing in the earlier rounds. This all changed at the US Open. After saving a match point against David Nalbandian in the third round, he reached his first ever Slam semi, defeating an injured Nadal along the way in the fourth round. Novak defeated him in that semi final clash.
Ferrer kept up the great form, winning the title in Tokyo. He ends the race at number six.
7 ? Gonzalez ? The Chilean had the hottest two weeks of his career in Melbourne, defeating Hewitt, Blake, Nadal and Haas to reach the final, losing only to Federer. After reaching such a great height, he fell from contention for several months, before reaching the finals of Roma, where he lost to Nadal.
The rest of the reason included a few quarter finals, and his first title in Beijing. He ends the year at number 7.
8 ? Gasquet ? Known to many as baby Federer, he managed to display his talent in several matches this year, most notably his showdown against Roddick at Wimbledon. After a series of quarter finals, that win propelled him to his first semi, and his first ever semi final in a grand slam.
He went on to lose to Federer in straight sets. Gasquet kept his form up, winning the title in Mumbai without dropping a set, and reaching the final of Tokyo only a week later, where he lost to Ferrer.
His semi final appearance at the Paris Masters, losing to Nalbandian gives him the final spot at the event. He ends the race at number eight.
There you have it. The top eight players at Shanghai, it should be an exciting showdown!
Well after everyone has played their first round, there has been some very interesting developments!!!!
The two guys expected to contest the final both lost their opening matches!!!
Nadal defeats Gasquet
Ferrer defeats Djokovic
Roddick defeats Davydenko
Gonzalez defeats Federer
This has put a unique spin on who is actually will go through to the semi final stages. Federer has lost his first ever match in round robin play, having won every single one since 2002. Can he still win it?
Djokovic is officially out of the event! Gasquet defeated him in straight sets.
And Ferrer defeats Nadal for the second straight time in a tense, and brtual three set match.
So far the Gold group looks like this.
Ferrer W - 2, L - 0
Nadal W - 1, L - 1
Gasquet W -1, L - 1
Djokovic W - 0, L-2
Roddick is the first man to qualify for the semi final stage, defeating Gonzalez in straight sets. Federer keeps his hopes alive of a foruth TMC, knocking Davydenko out of contention.
The Red Group looks like this.
Roddick W - 2, L - 0
Federer W - 1, L - 1
Gonzalez W - 1, L - 1
Davydenko W - 0, L - 2
the last day for both groups red especially will be very compelling
Ferrer defeats Gasquet and Nadal gets a win over Djokovic.
The Gold Group final positions look like this.
Ferrer W-3, L-0
Nadal W-2, L-1
Gasquet W-1, L-2
Djokovic W-0, L-0
Ferrer wins the group, and Nadal goes through as the runner up. Tomorrow we will know how the Red Group will finish.
Davydenko defeats Gonzalez, and knocks him out of the TMC. Federer defeats Roddick to top the group.
Federer W-2, L-1
Roddick W-2, L-1
Davydenko W-1, L-2
Gonzalez W-1, L-2
The semi finals are now set!!!!!!!
Federer V Nadal
Roddick V Ferrer
Ferrer continues his incredible form, defeating Roddick 6-1, 6-3 in the first semi final, to go into his first ever Masters Cup Final.
Federer put together his most emphatic victory against Nadal, eliminating Rafa 6-4, 6-1 in under an hour.
The final is set for tomorrow, and will feature the two best players in the tournament.
Federer V Ferrer!!!!!! The winner will become the World Champion.
Ferrer is amazing! he has just caught fire
Federer remains the Undisputed King of Tennis, defeating an in form Ferrer 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.
The loss to Gonzalez was wake up call for the best player in world, reaching what some people call "God mode" in his destruction of Roddick, Nadal and Ferrer.
He ends the year have won over 10 million USD on the tour, the first player in the history to achieve that. He also wins his fourth Masters Cup, with wins coming in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007, only trails Lendl and Sampras who won five each.
Roger also ends the season leading the tour with eight titles from twelve finals, including three Grand Slams, Two Masters Series and the Tennis Masters Cup.
That is it for 2007!!!!!
2008 should be exciting with so many players now challenging for the titles.
not quite it yet, The US still has to beat Russia in the Davis cup final
It is over as far as the actual tour is concerned. Davis Cup is ITF, not ATP, it does not count towards ranking points, or tour titles.
You're right in that the tennis is not over though, before the Davis Cup final we get to see Federer V Sampras!!!!!
The Federer/Sampras match should be entertaining.
Federer defeated Sampras 6-4, 6-3 in the first of their three match series. They'll be playing again in a few days!
Federer wins his second in the three match series, defeating Sampras 7-6, 7-6 in a classic!!!!!
Sampras wins the final match! 7-6, 6-4!!!!
The two have already decided to play each other in New York early next year!
with results like that Sampras really should consider a comeback