Looking ahead to Shanghai

Like last year, there will be no photo finish on the 3 best players. All of them qualify for Shanghai before the heat strikes the northern hemisphere. And like last year, there are some new names, and quite a few who in theory could fight for the last 5 spots. Here are some contenders:

Davydenko (387)
Davydenko’s 2007 is probably not as good as 2008. ONLY, and only, because of his Miami Masters win. Without that, he’s got nothing to be very proud of. He has won two clay events, SF in Monaco and and final in Estoril. Even the SF in Dubai was above expectation. In Grand Slam he lacks the goods. 4th round in Melbourne is his best, and after having reached numerous SFs, especially in RG, he now has only SF in USO on the ranking. If he loses early in New York, he might be heading down towards the Murray, Blake, Nalby ++ crowd. But does he have to goods to keep the level of consistency up? I don’t know… a total of 16 points in the two HARD court masters?! That’s poor for a #4. I think we’ll see him in Shanghai, but like previous years, there aren’t too many players there he will beat, unless he finds his Miami form back.

Murray (380)
If Murray doesn’t pass Davydenko, I will be disapointed. He has a great chance now to ride the momentum into USO and do a good job in the sleepy fall where several top players usually fail to perform. QF in Wimby and the recent Cincy win are the main highlights. But the combo Canada+Cincy gave him a total of 145 points. Only Nadal can show to that impressive figure. No doubt he is on his way UP. Watch out Davydenko!

Ferrer (322)
Where the hell is he? Isn’t this his favorite time of the year? It certainly was last year. Ranking-wise he’s in the same soup with Davydenko, a strong SF from last year’s USO and his current form doesn’t seem to promote a reprise. But he has SOME decent resutls, which gives him the #5 spot which is fully deserves. Two QF in Wimby and RG, QF in Monte Carlo and the clay and grass wins in Valencia and Holland. I don’t know what he’s doing these days, but he needs to start working again if he wants to defend his final in Shanghai. A first round loss in New York might be bye bye for him.

Blake (271)
A surprising big leap down to Blake at 271 points. He seems to be bery consisten in Masters, but Grand Slam is another story. He made a decent QF run in Melbourne, but RG and Wimbledon are not his best friends. USO should change that. If there’s ONE grand slam Blake has a tiny tiny shot at, it’s USO. He usually does well in the fall and maybe even a good run in Beijing, can bring him up inside the 300 point club.

Roddick (255) currently 8th
Last man standing inside the Shanghai party. I think it’s been a while since Roddick was in trouble of not qulifying this late in the season. If sort of feel sorry for him, because that Rome injury seems to have stopped that good momentum he had going on. I mean, Roddick in a clay AMS semifinal?! NO!
At that point he was 2nd or 3rd on W-L %age. Now he’s falling. 9th on the rankings and still problems with injuries and awkward sleeping positions! Come on! Like last year, 0 points in 3 AMS tournaments ruins his total, and last but not leas a total of 22!!! points in Grand Slam. He has a 3-2 Grand slam record for 2008! That’s the worst ever for him! Maybe not going to Beijing will help him in New York?
I think we will see him in Shanghai, as he is much more consistent than the three or even four players above him.

So that’s the current list of hopefuls inside the border. Here are some other potentials:
Wawrinka, Almagro (don’t think so), Verdasco, Simon!, Andreev (no way), Tsonga (still alive?)… the ones further down are below 200 points and seem less likely. But do you remember last year. Nalbandian was ruled out. He won two AMS in October and went straight to China. ANYTHING can happen.

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One Response to “Looking ahead to Shanghai”

  1. Tim Says:

    I think Davydenko will struggle this fall. He seems to have lost his touch since winning Miami. Though a Masters wins should give enough points to get to Shanghai. What about Del Potro? He must be getting closer to that top 10, with all the recent wins. If he goes into a QF or better in US Open, who knows?

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