I hope you all got a chance to see the semi final matches in Paris this past weekend. As you know I am not a fan of hard court tennis especially when it's played on super fast courts as Bercy was. Still Gael Monfils vs Roger Federer and Robin Soderling vs Michael Llodra were two of the best men's matches of the year. Both went three sets and both were edge of your seat exciting.
Michael Llodra, his wife and young son in the stands, showed that he is more than a doubles player. His match against Soderling was a war. He had an answer for everything that was being thrown at him faltering only in the home stretch. Still the match score was 6-7(0), 7-5, 7-6(6) for Soderling and that doesn't begin to convey the level of tennis both men played. In fact both matches showed that real tennis can be played on fast hard courts. Of course serving was key but there were some great points played by all four men. When the matches were over Patrick McEnroe tweeted that there should be more matches played on fast hard courts. I think PMac needs to slow his roll. I sat through an Andy Roddick match at the US Open - he was playing Fabrice Santoro - and bored to tears doesn't begin to describe what that match was like for me. There was no such boredom on Saturday.
It's a no brainer why PMac would take such a stance but remember these were four Europeans playing. Andy Roddick crashed and burned early in the event. Hard and grass court tennis can be enjoyable if the participants know how to construct points and engage in strategic play instead of the hit hard and harder play many Americans engage in.
It's unfortunate that Gael came into the Final flat while Soderling continued the level of play he exhibited on Saturday. Monfils was never in the Final but this time it was okay. Tennisheads now know what he can do and look forward to seeing more of it next year.
Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi on their victory.
The ATP World Team Finals
Yes I totally resisted the urge to use the abbreviation for World Team Finals. If they're brash enough to use those words they're brash enough to accept that people will call their year end tournament WTF. I'm just sayin'.
Anywho the field was set during the Paris Masters and will include the following players:
1 Rafael Nadal 11,450
2 Roger Federer 7,645
3 Novak Djokovic 5,635
4 Robin Soderling 5,380
5 Andy Murray 5,360
6 Tomas Berdych 3,755
7 David Ferrer 3,735
Qualifies for first time since 2007.
8 Andy Roddick 3,665
Qualifies for eighth straight year
With Andy Murray now ranked #5 the set up for the groups is going to be extremely interesting. The draw will take place on Wednesday November 17.