Year-End Player Assessment

Let us look at #10 and #9. The ones just missing out of Shanghai. How has 2007 treated them?

#10 Tommy Robredo
The #3 player in Spain is actually one of the most experienced by now and has been playing on the pro tour since 2001 when he shot up to #30. 2007 has not been a bad year, but he’s been locked in the shadow of Ferrer and Nadal who happen to be better.

The face is 2007 started out quite good for Robredo. In Auckland he made the final and lost to Ferrer which also gave him a good 6th seed for Aussie Open. In Melbourne he made a good run to the QF where he (as most other players) was shot down by The Roger.

Another QF followed in Rotterdam where he lost to Djokovic in 3 sets. If people would’ve known what lies in Djokovic (then ranked 14) this loss is actually not a bad performance.
In Indian Wells Gilles Simon fired past Robredo and sent him to Miami, where he lost in the QF against Canas. Remember him? The guy who was in a Federer-killing mood in March?

The first obvious dissapointment came with the clay season, where he usually collects most of his ranking points. His best results were a SF in Estoril and the QF in Roland Garros, once again taking a beating from Federer.

Grass did not work out this year either and Wimbledon ended in 2nd round against the oldy Arthurs. Robredo continued on clay and played Bastad, Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel, and Sopot. First three were no good at all, though he got his first title of the season in Sopot.

From that point on he did not restore his best tennis until after the USO where he made the 3rd round and got a lesson from Gulbis. That sent the poor man down to #11.

In September and October things changed as he got to the final in Beijing and won Metz. That would perhaps have built up his confidence and give him enough points to qualify for Shanghai. That was not the case as he failed to perform in Madrid, Lyon and Paris, where he needed quite a few points to be competitive in the race. Overall, just OK

Ranking: 7 to 10, high at #5
Titles: 2
W-L: 49-26 (65.3%)
Grade: C

#9 David Nalbandian
If this was end of September, this guy would not get this spot in the blog! It was even a coincidence point-wise that he made the top 10. Nalbandian is a great player, when he plays with some consistency and stability. He started out the year in top 10, made the R16 in Melbourne and got some below average results in the start. The problem is that he had some big points to defend from 2006 and was not able to defend too many of them. By the time they hit the clay in Europe, he was #12. After Roland Garros Nalby was out of top 20. He actually entered Wimbledon as #25. The problem was that the first half of 2006 he was playing better than ever and this spring he had no results to show. In the fall there were less points to defend and showed that he had some skills against Ferrer in New York. He lost it, but the 5 set encounter was a breath of fresh air for Nalby fans. He’s still around!

Prior to October 15th his best result was a QF in Barcelona! 4th, 4th, 3rd, and 3rd rounds at the slams. Not top 10 material. I don’t know what sort of preparation he did for the last two masters tournaments, but Nalby was back to his early 2006 level. In Madrid he took out the three best players in the world in three days. A couple of weeks later he managed to beat Nadal, Gasquet, and Federer to get his second AMS title in a month. Now people are talking about him being a favorite for AO. I can see why!

Ranking: 8 to 9, but hitting a deep, deep low at #26 in the summer.
titles: 2 AMS
W-L: 31-18 (63.3%)
Grade: C+ (yeah! that’s right)

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One Response to “Year-End Player Assessment”

  1. cms Says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if Nalby can keep it up starting next year — and to see if/how Fed figures him out again. I still think he let down after that first set in the Madrid final, but who knows? He definitely won’t again, though.

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